Every year, the City of Roses throws itself a big party, and this year the Portland Rose Festival (May 24 – June 9) has adopted ”Portland’s Party” as its theme, promising more fun and festivity than ever. Best of all, you’re invited!
The fest kicks off with a spectacular fireworks show on Friday, May 24. For a great view, grab a seat on the Ferris wheel in the waterfront CityFair, which features rides, food and beer and live music. (This year, there’s also a second night of fireworks, on June 7.)
The 2013 concert lineup includes pop sensation Carly Rae Jepsen (June 9), country quartet Little Big Town (June 2), and indie rock bands Fitz And The Tantrums (May 26) and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (May 25).
The evening Starlight Parade (June 1) features illuminated floats and a “Portlandia” section with syncopated drummers, roller derby teams and the Portland Zombie Walk. The fest’s hallmark event, the Grand Floral Parade (June 8), travels from Memorial Coliseum (where reserved seating is available), across the Willamette River and through downtown, delighting crowds with 17 all-floral floats, 18 marching bands and 19 equestrian units – in addition to vintage vehicles, colorful dancers and more. For a closer look at the impressive floats, check out the Grand Floral Float Showcase (June 8-9), adjacent to the CityFair.
Get to the fragrant source at the Portland Rose Society 125th Annual Spring Rose Show (June 6-7), the nation’s largest and longest-running rose show with more than 4,000 blooms in the Lloyd Center Ice Rink.
Last but not least, the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race (June 8-9) brings the party to the river as 80 local, national and international teams compete in ornate boats provided by the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association.