Saturday, June 23, 2007

Centennials, Ceeds, and Coaking

Portland celebrated the 100th anniversary of the annual Rose Festival. As is traditional, the burgeoning dry season takes a pause during Rose Festival week to anoint the city in varying amounts of Holy Rain Water. For 2007, most of it fell during the Grand Floral Parade. The Weather Service supercomputers, not wanting Portlanders to miss the centennial, thankfully lied about the start time of the rain so we would all show up anyway.

Things started up dry though or else the kids would not be able to draw their ephemeral chalk art...



...and the gathering of some familar folks...



...including a few family blogger friends amde for good company.

The rain started getting serious about the time the parade began. A large cargo plane circled aroung a few times and a group of Navy Seal paratroopers kicked things off.



While this may be the 100th year, it was the first for me. It is astounding to live in a place for over 40 years before going to a simple parade, but that is me. The rain wasn't going to dampen my spirits. After all, Dean Wormer used his powerful connections to hook us up with some great people who reserve a space each year along the route. The Minisnab would be marching along shortly twirling her flag in sync with the music of the band. It was all pretty exciting. A group of Boy Scouts led off the parade with a banner to kick things off.



The area high schools nominate princesses of whom one is chosen for queen. They lead on their own float (after the Rose Festival Equestrians).



The floats for the parade are required to use natural materials for their decoration. It is a good opportunity for corporate interests to trumpet their civic presence. Here are a few...






There are school marching bands from Oregon, Washington and California as well as some corporate/private too. A disproportionate number of bands this year had Scotsmen as mascots (if its nay Scottish, its CRAP!!!!!) Here is an example of such a band....



Then finally, the MiniSnab's band comes up the street led by the flag team! Here are a couple of shots from their group (thanks to Swinebread & his better half for getting some great shots).





As much as the Portland Rose Festival is a local celebration, it is also a chance for international sharing. Here are a few examples from around the Paficic Rim from Mexico to Japan to China, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and other places.








All in all, it was quite a deal. There were mayors from all over Oregon as well as several former Portland mayors to mark the anniversary. The rain never did let up either and that is somehow appropriate for the Rose Festival. There is an uncanny tendency for the seasonal drying of summer to take a hiatus during Rose Festival week. For some reason, the late May Memorial weekend is almost always warmer and nicer than most Rose Festival weeks.

It is just part of the mystique of "Rosaria." The queen is deemed the Queen of Rosaria and the civic volunteer group that performs much of the groundwork for the festival are called the Royal Rosarians. I like to joke that during this time we all in a state of Rosaria, where Rosaria is a cross between reverie and hysteria. It is somehow appropriate, don't you think? While many substances can take you close to a state of Rosaria, only this parade or the companion Starlight Parade the Friday before that kicks off Rose festival can induce this unique state of mind. I look forward to Rosaria next year! It may not be perfect, but it is a darn sight better than a state of Rosacea.

Once again, thanks Dean Wormer and associated rug rats for the great company and great location! Thanks to Swinebread & better half for hanging out with us and getting better pictures than me and thanks to Ladybug's dad for joinging to see his litle bean perform.

11 comments:

ladybug said...

I sure enjoyed it too, but it was the COLDEST, WETTEST Rose Parade I've ever been too (we used to go when Mini-Snab was small..My dad would save us a space after his night shift right downtown on Burnside).

What a difference 10 years make, the amount of people is amazing!

Curiously, I've caught the Starlight only a couple of times, and each time it was impromptu - I'm like "what is with all these people downtown???" Then the parade starts by, and whomever I'm with sit down on the curb and watch it!

It's a little more funky & informal than the Grand Rose Parade. Dad says before WWII the Starlight was called something like the "Maundy Canda" was more adult and risque. They had water fights (which started real fights), and saucy nightime entertainment, so it was a bit rough!

During WWII there was no Rose Festival, so when it all started up again The Royal Rosarians decided since the police were tired of dealing w/shenanigans of the opening parade, (plus the more conservative slant of public sentiment at the dawning of the '50's)- the opening Parade would be renamed the "Starlight" and made it more family friendly.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Ah, yes. I've marched with a band in the Grand Floral Parade before. I got rained on, too.

Funny how it always rains during Portland's rose festival and Itako's (Japan) concurrent iris festival.

The Moody Minstrel said...

I marched in the Starlight Parade more than once, too (at least once with Dewkid), but I never knew about its risque past. Thanks for the history lesson, Ladybug!

Dean Wormer said...

Thanks for putting those pix up!

It sure was cold as ladybug said. But it's still fun and I'm really glad you made it.

Dean

DewKid said...

For some strange reason, I feel like eating at Dennys.

Pa've said...

Thanks for sharing the pictures. Its been a while since my sister's family and I went, when I lived in Hillsboro we would take the light rail down to the parade route, and then go to Borders Book store afterward. I don't know what they do in Seattle, probably a gay pride parade...

Pandabonium said...

Beautiful event. Glad so many of you got together. Love the floats, and costumes. Nice pics. Mini-snab did you proud.

One year I camped out with friends on the sidewalk all night to get a good spot at the Pasadena Rose Parade. No rain down there, just freezing cold.

Any Royal Rosicrucian Rosarians with Rosacea?

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Swinebread said...

It is funny how I was prepared and no one else was... i.e. I brought extra rain gear. My SO thought I was crazy until it really started to downpour. Loved seeing the kids both in the parade and as bystanders.

I hope the visitors from afar still had a good time despite the rain.