The Rose Festival Parade 2009

Today in Portland was the Grand Floral Parade, the finale of the two-week long Rose Festival. The festival is probably the biggest event in town all year (provided the Blazers don’t make the NBA finals) and it culminated this morning with a massive parade traveling through Northeast, Southeast and Southwest Portland. We managed to get out this morning to take it in from the corner of SW Park and SW Stark streets.

This Beauty and the Beast float was not only Morgen's favorite but also a perfect analogy for our marriage.

The Beauty and the Beast float was not only Morgen's favorite but a perfect analogy for our marriage.

With many parts of the state represented (as well as southern Washington and the sister city of Sapporo, Japan) there were floats, bands and performers of many kinds taking part in the parade. Morgen loved the many different animals that included horses (some small, some large) and llamas.

Kaitlin Johnston, rodeo queen of Klickitat County.

Kaitlin Johnston, rodeo queen of Klickitat County, Washington.

I don't remember what this was part of, but this horse crossed the street back-and-forth like a slalom skier.

I don't remember what this was part of, but this wee horse crossed the street like a drunken skier.

Behold, Isle Eagle. The nation's #1 show llama. There were literally twenty llamas that followed this one in the oddest procession of the day.

Behold, Isle Eagle. The nation's #1 show llama. There were literally twenty llamas that followed this one in the oddest procession of the day.

But the excitement was certainly not limited to animals this morning. Many different modes of transportation were on display in the several hours we stood on that corner. We saw cars, bikes, John Deers mowers and even unicycles. Here are a few examples:

This amazing old car has to be at least seventy years old. There were three rows of seats, perhaps an early limousine?

This amazing old car has to be at least seventy years old. There were three rows of seats, perhaps an early limousine?

Our Mayor, Sam Adams. Portland is America's largest city with an openly-gay mayor. We later saw him riding alone down NW 9th Avenue where he rode through a red light.

Our Mayor, Sam Adams. Portland is America's largest city with an openly-gay mayor. We later saw him riding alone down NW 9th Avenue where he rode through a red light.

Most of Oregon City represented themselves well. This, on the other hand, was just sad.

Most of Oregon City represented themselves well. This, on the other hand, was just sad.

Finally, there were more than a few displays of exotic cultures. Several of them were Native Americans, including the float for the closest Native-owned casino. But more to Morgen’s liking were the tipico dancers that reminded her of her childhood in Panama (as an aside, if you’ve ever been in the Young’s house, you can see a very cool drawing of Morgen dressed like these women). There was also an interestingly dressed Mummers String Band that were as good at playing their instruments as they were fantastically dressed.

Yes, Morgen once dressed like this. Though I believe it was required.

Yes, Morgen once dressed like this. Though I believe it was required.

The dancers were excellent.

The dancers were excellent.

One of the highlights of the day.

One of the highlights of the day.

All in all it was a great experience. We were lucky to find a corner that was not too heavily populated and were as close as possible to the action. We did spend over four hours waiting for the parade to get to us (we were about 3/4 of the way down the route) and watching. But considering we’ve only been here two and a half weeks, it was a nice introduction to one of the biggest events to come to town all year.

Advertisements

One response to “The Rose Festival Parade 2009

  1. You are rapidly becoming the most fabulously situated members of the family! Pollera clad dancers, llamas, food treasures, hiking trails – what can’t you experience in your dream city?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s