PORTLAND – Rose Festival is here. Every Portlander worth their salt knows the festival brings the Grand Floral and Starlight parades, Fleet Week and City Fair and of course the Rose Queen. But do know about the festival treasure hunt, or its Clown Prince.
Here are five things you might not know about Rose Festival, but should.
Before there was Portlandia: The Mythical Kingdom of Rosaria
Not unlike Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Rose Festival has its origins in the work of fraternal organizations. The Royal Rosarians sponsor the Rose Festival and the group's members embrace honor, a love of pageantry, and upstanding moral values. The Royal Rosarian Privy Council formed in 1912 as the governors of a mythical kingdom called Rosaria. They base a lot of their organizational lore and officer titles from the history the English Civil War (1455 and 1487) AKA, the War of the Roses.
Move over Glee: Rose City Sing-off
Yeah, Rose Festival was all glee club before glee club was cool. The festival hosts the Northwest’s premier a cappella competition for high-school age children. This year’s Rose City Sing-Off featured groups like the Falcon Phenomenon (Liberty High School), the Mixolydians (Sherwood High School), Nothing But Treble (Westview High School), the Pony Pipers (Milwaukie High School), Soul’d Out (Wilsonville High School) and more. There are a lot of singers out there in the Northwest, so look out Coach Sylvester.
The Clown Prince of the Rose Festival
Angel, the Clown Prince of Rose Festival is a relatively new addition to the pomp and circumstance surrounding the festival. The Prince has his own mythical ties to the history of Rosaria, and can be seen from his throne at the festival's three parades. He also might be caught running with his peeps in the Clown Corp. As luck would have it, the corp. is taking on new members. Check it out and don’t let that clown school diploma of yours go to waste.
Yar! A treasure hunt for landlubbers
Somewhere in Portland, hidden on public property, is a Rose Festival medallion that could win you $1,000. The Rose Festival OregonLive Treasure Hunt has returned after a long absence. Clues to where the treasure is hidden are posted everyday in OregonLive and reference obscure local history and geography. Other prizes include round trip tickets to Hawaii and Mexico: so get Googling.
Stop and smell the Rose Festival
Every year the Lloyd Center Ice Rink blossoms into the largest and longest-running rose show in the nation. With over 4,000 blooms, the Annual Spring Rose Show is open to anyone's prized plant. The show draws in some 6,000 spectators and attracts growers from all over the Northwest.
Well, now you know some of the insider details on Rose Festival. So, go out there and enjoy it. And look out for unicorns!