PORTLAND -- The Portland Rose Festival’s colorful parades, carnival rides, and crowd-pleasing entertainment are known worldwide.
Among the festival's most popular draws are the Grand Floral Parade, one of the nation's biggest all-floral parades, the Starlight Parade and the CityFair.
Grand Floral Parade
The Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade is recognized around the world as one of the most spectacular floral exhibits of the year. Known as the crown jewel of the Rose Festival, the Grand Floral Parade was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., on Saturday, June 8.
The 2013 Grand Marshal is author, speaker, veteran, statesman, businessman, volunteer, and fourth-generation Oregonian Gerry Frank. "Simply stated," read the Rose Fest website, "Gerry Frank is Oregon." He has been an honorary director of the Portland Rose Festival Foundation since 1969.
Just before the parade begins, the Bank of the West Grand Floral Walk will start at 9:30 a.m., at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. It's billed as a fun fitness parade for all ages.
Then, starting at 10 a.m., the parade entries will wind their way down the 4.2-mile route. The parade will begin at the Memorial Coliseum and end in downtown Portland as cheers ring out from spectators lining the streets. The Queen of Rosaria will get crowned just before the start of the Grand Floral Parade and then she will be presented to the public on the Rose Court float. More: Grand Floral parade info & map
Dragon Boat Races
Along with attracting tourists from across the globe, the Rose Festival also serves as an important link to Portland’s sister city, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Portland celebrates this cultural connection with the colorful Dragon Boat Races modeled after the popular competition in the international port city. This year, the Dragon Boat Races were scheduled for the weekend of June 8.
The races are set to begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, ending at approximately 4 p.m. each day. More: Dragon boat race & spectator info
The CityFair opened at 5 p.m., on Friday, May 24. It’s the Rose Festival's largest attraction with carnival rides, a wide variety of food vendors, beer, concerts, and even an exotic animals show.
Admission is $7 for people ages 7 and over and entry is free for kids under the age of 6. Active military members with valid ID can get in free with one guest. More: CityFair info
Another fireworks show was scheduled for June 7. Spectators can watch from Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park or they can line the river along the Eastbank Esplanade. More: Fireworks show info
The PGE/SOLVE Starlight Parade is one of the most unique events of the Rose Festival where floats are lit up in the dark of the night and thousands of fans cuddle under blankets along the streets of Portland.
The parade is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m., on Saturday, June 1.
The Western Hockey League Champion Portland Winterhawks will be the 2013 Grand Marshals of the Starlight Parade. More: Starlight parade info & map
As the festival celebration continues, the Fleet Week ships will begin arriving in Portland on Monday, June 3. Many of the ships will be open for public tours daily, usually between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Admission will be free, on a first-come basis. The last of the ships will depart Portland on Monday, June 10.
While the U.S. Navy will not be participating in Fleet Week celebration, The Royal Canadian Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard will still be on hand, as well as several other historic ships. More: Fleet Week
The Fred Meyer Junior Parade is also a fan favorite, but for a much different reason. It’s a chance for local children to put on their favorite costumes and march down the streets of Northeast Portland while family members feverishly snap photos like the paparazzi.
The parade is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., on Wednesday, June 5 in the Hollywood District, just off Northeast Sandy and 52nd in Portland.
Fred Meyer mascot Fred Bear will be on hand, along with other popular mascots, including the GEICO Gecko, Benny the OSU Beaver and the Rose Festival Clown Prince. More: Junior Parade info & map
The weather for the first weekend of this year's Rose Festival was expected stay in the lower 60s, with partly cloudy skies scattered showers.