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Citing health and safety, Portland Rose Festival won't feature popular outdoor mainstays

Festival organizers said the countdown clock is set for the "biggest and best fireworks ever in 2022."

PORTLAND, Ore. — The 2021 Portland Rose Festival will not include some of the event's most popular outdoor events, including City Fair and the Grand Floral Parade, but will still feature Virtual Fleet Week and the second annual Porch Parade.

The theme of this year's festival is Hope Reigns.

"Oregon is not quite ready yet for big outdoor events," said Jeff Curtis, CEO of the Portland Rose Festival Foundation. "The health and safety of our community is still our top priority as we plan for a Rose Festival season to engage and inspire the community once again this year."

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In a release, festival organizers said the countdown clock is set for "the biggest and best fireworks ever in 2022." The 2022 Rose Festival will feature three "world-class parades," a waterfront fair and a "spectacular fireworks" show during the opening night on May 27, 2022.

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But this year, the festival will operate on a smaller scale with virtual and limited in-person events. Here's a look at some of the events scheduled for 2021:

The Porch Parade was a new addition last year. People across Portland decorated their homes, yards and porches. The event was replicated in other cities, including New Orleans and Washington D.C.

"We want to see even more Porch Parade participation in 2021," Curtis said. "Let's grow this great idea that originated in the Rose City."

Long-time volunteer Contesa Diaz-Nicolaidis says it was the right decision, but she, her family and her fellow volunteers are disappointed.

"It's the one time of year everyone looks forward to, where everyone comes out onto the streets and celebrates our community and the people within it," Contesa Diaz-Nicolaidis said. "It's also a big part of the economy, bringing people here, seeing what we’re all about and who we are."

She cherishes the rose court program because she participated in it when she was younger. She's glad they're still able to crown their 2021 Rose Festival Queen outside at Washington Park.

"I’m very passionate about what it can do for those in our community and the young ladies that are applying," Diaz-Nicolaidis said.

While she will miss the parade, fair and fireworks she is looking forward to 2022.

"When we do come back together we want to really feel it, be into it, enjoy it. We don’t want to have any hesitation. We want everyone to be ready," Diaz-Nicolaidis added. "It will really bring a new sense of appreciation of what’s to come. We’re going to miss it this year, we certainly missed it last year. But it will make next year even more special."