PORTLAND -- Just before Portland's Royal Rosarians knighted the Oregon Zoo's Packy the elephant, Rose Festival officials announced he would be the grand marshal of the 2012 Grand Floral Parade.

After being considered for the honor in 1962 at barely two months of age, Packy finally gets his chance, said Rich Jarvis of the Rose Festival Foundation.

Photos: Packy through the years

Packy is the first grand marshal that will not be able to actually ride in the parade, Jarvis added. But even though parade fans will not see him in person, the Rose Festival and the Oregon Zoo will make sure his footprint is all over the nation's second largest all-floral parade.

Portland Rose Festival president Sue Bunday made the announcement during Sir Packy's 50th birthday party at the Oregon Zoo in April.

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