PORTLAND, Ore. — After two years of virtual and porch-side events, the Rose Festival will be returning to in-person events for 2022.
The Rose Festival announced on Wednesday that with the help of its lead sponsor, CareOregon, it will host the Starlight Parade on June 4.
“The Rose Festival is back this year for the Rose City Reunion,” Portland Rose Festival CEO Jeff Curtis said in an emailed statement. “The Rose Festival is happy to be part of Portland’s comeback story, featuring all three of our parades starting with the CareOregon Starlight Parade. We’re honored to have CareOregon as a Premier Sponsor, joining a group of corporate leaders who recognize the value that the Rose Festival brings to the community.”
As of January, the omicron COVID-19 variant has caused record-high case numbers in Oregon and health officials are expecting the number of cases and hospitalizations to continue to rise. Schools across the state have returned temporarily to distance learning, largely due to COVID-related staffing shortages.
Curtis said that organizers and CareOregon are learning on an advisory council and being flexible with their plans due to the pandemic.
"One of the things we are going to rely on is what we call rose festival health advisory council," said Curtis. In an email, he said the council is made up of members of the Rose Festival Executive Board, members from the Multnomah County Health Department and a representative from CareOregon. One more member will be added at a later date, said Curtis.
"We will be looking at specific health and safety guidelines and protocols that are in the best interest of community health and making decisions on what specifics those are in the weeks and months ahead, using our advisory council and health professionals' guidance as well,” he said.
The Starlight Parade is the first of three parades that are part of the Rose Festival and is followed by the Junior Parade and the Grand Floral Parade. Organizers announced that the theme this year will be Rose City Reunion, meant to capture the spirit of Oregonians coming back together to celebrate and reinvigorate our sense of community pride and togetherness.
“CareOregon has been a longtime participant in and supporter of the Portland Rose Festival," said Eric Hunter, CareOregon CEO.
Hunter went on to say in an emailed statement that CareOregon saw the opportunity of being a sponsor as a chance to contribute to community health.
“We know that good health is about more than just health care. We need strong communities to build healthy futures—this includes civic events, such as the Rose Festival. Oregonians need something to cheer for. We’re hopeful that Rose Festival will be back on the Portland streets this summer,” he said.
Of you’re looking for information on how to be part of the parades, the applications can be found here and the deadline is March 23.
If you’re looking to join the Rose Festival Clowns you can apply here.