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Portland Rose Festival: May-June 2016

At the heart of Portland’s popular culture for more than a century, the Portland Rose Festival has its roots in tradition, with inspired programming that embraces both the contemporary and the nostalgic. Visionary city leaders started the festival during the first decade of the 20th century to put Portland on the map and brand it “the summer capital of the world.” Little did they know that more than a hundred summers later the festival would be world-famous – both for its remarkable, award-winning events and as a leader in celebrating community values like volunteerism, patriotism and environmentalism.

Today, the Portland Rose Festival presents events and programs that spotlight the riches of the Pacific Northwest heritage and environment while offering colorful examples of many international cultures. The theme of this year’s festival is “Excessive Celebration.” Events include:

  • Grand Floral Parade – A cherished highlight of the Portland Rose Festival, this popular procession is more than a spectacular floral-filled parade; it’s a beloved annual tradition. For more than 100 years, Portland families, visitors and community groups have been making memories at the Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade. A colorful reflection of local, regional and international communities, the parade draws hundreds of thousands of cheering viewers of every age, along a 4.2-mile route that winds through city streets and across the river.
  • CityFair – A series of weekend spectacles with entertainment, food and rides at Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
  • Annual Spring Rose Show – The largest and longest-running rose show in the nation. The exquisite beauty and fragrances of this yearly show emanate from more than 4,000 blooms. Entry is open to anyone, and all entrants are encouraged. Rose growers from across the Pacific Northwest participate, and sparkling trophies go to those entrants who grow the most beautiful roses.
  • Milk Carton Boat Race – A classic Rose Festival event and family friendly community tradition dating back to 1973. Children and adults race and show off their handmade, human powered boats that float only by means of recycled milk cartons and jugs. Creatively constructed watercraft will compete in seven categories, with one earning a place in history upon the coveted Best in Show milk can trophy.

The Portland Rose Festival – which has been designated as one of the top 20 events in the U.S. – has also been distinguished as an “IFEA World Festival & Event City,” an honor bestowed upon cities and their events that have made a significant contribution to the festivals and events industry, and made a profound difference in the communities they serve. For additional festival details, visit

To book your trip to Portland in time to – literally – stop and smell the roses, drop us a line at

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