Portland Rose Festival


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Portland Rose Festival

June
The Portland Rose Festival is a month-long salute to the rose in Portland, Ore., and certainly one of the sweetest-smelling festivals anywhere.
The "City of Roses" has been putting on a rose festival since 1907 and claims now to produce the biggest celebration of the rose in the world. To justify such a claim, the festival offers more than 60 events. These include an air show, musical concerts, fireworks, the Portland Arts Festival, tours and cruises on visiting U.S. and Canadian Navy ships, and boat and Indy-class car races.
The salute starts with the coronation of the Rose Queen, and continues with parade after parade, including a starlight parade, called the second largest lighted parade in the United States, the largest children's parade, and the climax—a grand floral parade, with dozens of rose-bedecked floats. On the final days of the festival, the Portland Rose Society stages the Rose Show, the oldest and largest rose show in the country, with about 20,000 individual blossoms exhibited.
Portland is thought to have started its life as a rose city in the early 19th century, when traders brought with them seeds of the wild rose of England. It flourished as the Oregon Sweet Briar. Settlers brought more roses, and then in 1888, Mrs. Henry L. Pittock held a rose show in her front yard, and that evolved into today's festival.
The parade is one of two major floral parades in the country, the other being the better known Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, Calif., every New Year's Day.
CONTACTS:
Portland Rose Festival Foundation
5603 S.W. Hood Ave.
Portland, OR 97239
503-227-2681; fax: 503-227-6603
www.rosefestival.org
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 421
GdUSFest-1984, p. 151
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