PORTLAND -- The 77th annual Junior Rose Parade went off without a hitch under bright blue skies Wednesday in Northeast Portland.

With the precision driven by cadence and tempo, band after band marched down Sandy Boulevard. The music was terrific. The feet were hot.

It burns my feet really bad, said Amy Boedigheimer, a dancer from Covington Middle School in Vancouver.

Photos: Rose Festival Junior Parade

An estimated 50,000 people came from far and wide to see the fun.

We live in the neighborhood and we just moved here so (we're) pretty excited, said Klay Aresnault with her 4-year-old son.

Oh I love it. It s one of the biggest in the country for kids and it s in our neighborhood, said Becky Wong as she kept an eye on young children sitting nearby.

The parade features able-bodied kids but also 50 who are medically fragile. This is a big day for people like Blake Longanecker who cannot talk or get out of his motorized wheel chair. But he can be in the parade.

Oh it s just, it s just really satisfying. The reaction that he gets from the crowds watching and clapping, its just really touching to all of us, said Blake s grandfather, Wayne Longanecker.

Since this is a parade for kids, its best to get their impressions of what makes this one so special.

I just think they re enjoyable and they re very colorful with all their colors and stuff, said Ashley Popp, an 11-year-old sitting on the curb.

Not far away, Miles Berry and Nikolye Knotts, also 11 year olds, agreed the parade is fun.

It s cool just to see, oh I like the costumes and the clowns, said Miles.

I ve always liked parades since I was one, said Nikolye. I like all the flashy stuff just going around and the noises, just having fun, he said.

Complete coverage: Rose Festival

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