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Portland Rose Festival season kicks off: CityFair, Starlight Run, Fleet Week and more

The unofficial start of summer is here and it's time for fun! From a fireworks show, parades, a new Rose Festival queen and more.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Get ready, set, go! The unofficial start of summer is here just in time for the start of the Portland Rose Festival. Get ready for three consecutive weeks of fun as the theme for this year's fest is "Focus On Fun."

At the Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, CityFair kicks off the festivities on Friday evening with its opening night fireworks show. Expect to see the skies light up with a spectacular firework display. 

Fireworks will shoot off at around 9:50 p.m. right after a full live concert by the Nu Wavers.

Enjoy the rides, concerts, and of course, all the amazing food for three weekends: May 25-29, June 2-4, and June 9-11 from 12 p.m.-9 p.m.

RELATED: What it could cost a family of 4 to attend the Rose Festival CityFair

Other must-attend attractions this year include: 

Starlight Parade

When: June 3
Where: Downtown Portland
Time: 8 p.m.
What's going on: CareOregon Starlight Parade is the most popular events of the festival as the parade lights up the streets of downtown. This bright tradition features marching bands and flood-lit floats, glow-in-the-dark umbrellas and more. You can enjoy the fun in-person or from the comfort of your couch. Drag performer Poison Waters is the grand marshal this year leading the parade. 

Parade route here.

Junior Parade

When: June 7
Where: Hollywood District
Time: 1 p.m.
What's going on: The Fred Meyer Junior Parade is the daytime parade that brings children from all parts of the city to have fun being kids. The parade will feature elementary and middle school marching bands, along with dance teams and more. This year families can participate in the new family fun float award competition and win prizes. 

Parade route here.

Grand Floral Parade

When: June 10
Where: Northeast Portland
Time: 10 a.m.
What's going on: The Grand Floral Parade is more than just a bright colorful parade — it's tradition. This parade features traditional large all-floral floats that everyone admires and love. Along with the floats parade guests can expect marching groups, vintage vehicles, flags and much more. Ticket reservations are required from indoor seats inside the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. 

Parade route here.

Dragon Boat Races

When: June 10-11
Where: Waterfront Park
Time: 8 a.m.
What's going on: This free events has been a tradition for more than two decades. The race is held on the Willamette River and features traditional Chinese dragon boats provided by the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association. More than 60 teams participate — local, national and international. 

Click here to register. 

Fleet Week

When: June 7-11
Where: Waterfront Park
What's going on: Visiting ships, military and non-military, make their way down the Willamette River during the Rose Festival. During this week, free ship tours are offered. The 2023 visiting ships will be announced on June 7. Tour times vary and are on a first-come first-served basis. Look out for traffic information, as the ships' arrivals and departures mean bridge lifts that can cause backups. 

For more information, click here. 

Queen's Coronation 

When: June 9
Where: Oregon Square
Time: 11:30 a.m.
What's going on: The Rose Festival Court is made up of 15 students, historically all girls, selected from high schools across the Portland metro area. The program offers the students scholarships, mentorship, networking, volunteer and community outreach opportunities— all while promoting and carrying on the tradition of serving on the court. A queen will be announced June 9 and will represent Portland and the Rose Festival for one year.

To meet the 2023 Rose Festival Court, click here. 

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