When it's Portland Rose Festival time, you know that summer has begun. This year the 108th Rose Festival begins the end of May. The theme this year is Rhyme Time with Blossomtime. Festival time is packed with events and sometimes it can be difficult to choose which ones to take part in because there are so many.
The largest carnival in the Pacific Northwest opens on Friday, May 22nd in Tom McCall Waterfront Park along the banks of the Willamette River in downtown Portland. It is fun for the whole family with midway rides, live music in the Rozone, food stalls, and Oregon beer. Opening night features a spectacular fireworks show after dusk.
The fair is open on:
May 22: 5pm
May 23-25: 11am
May 28-29: 3pm
May 30-31: 11am
June 3-5: 3pm
June 6-7: 11am
Closing time is 11pm all nights
Admission is $7. Children six and under are always admitted free. Veterans, Reservists, and Active Military with valid military ID plus one guest are also free. You can use a Rose Festival Souvenir Pin as a season pass. You can purchase these pins for $10 at Fred Meyers.
This race is not only fun to watch it is also beautiful. The dragon boats are decorated with both a dragon head and a dragon tail and are provided through the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association .
This year's race takes place on Saturday, June 6 and Sunday June 7. There will be over 100 entries of local, national, and international teams. If you would like to watch this event, go to the south end of Tom McCall Waterfront Park near the Hawthorne Bridge. Heats are run every nine minutes from 8 am to 4 pm. There is no admission charge.
The arrival of the fleet is always an exciting time during the Rose Festival. People are always asking, "When does the fleet arrive"? They want to know for two reasons: they either want to watch the ships arrive or they don't want to get caught in traffic when the bridges over the Willamette River are raised to let a ship pass.
This year the fleet arrives on Wednesday, June 3rd and departs Sunday, June 7th. There will be ships from the United States Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Canadian Maritime Forces. Tours of the ships are available 9:30 to 3:30 on a first come first serve basis and they are free of charge. The ships actually set their own tour times so these can vary. Tours may be cancelled with short notice due to the current state of world affairs.
Place: Seawall at Tom McCall Waterfront Park
This spectacular "main event" of the Rose Festival is watched by thousands. Even more watch it on TV.
This year's parade will be on Saturday, June 6th.The parade begins at Memorial Colosium on the east side of the Willamette River at 10:00 am. It then travels across the river and winds its way through the streets of downtown Portland. (See map below.) You need to get to the parade route early not only to get a good spot for watching it but also to avoid the closed off streets and find a parking space.
You can buy tickets for both indoor and outdoor seating at the Memorial Colosium. Indoor and Outdoor reserved seating is $30.00. Outdoor reserved bleachers is $25.00. For tickets go to the Rose Quarter Box Office or go to a participating Safeway. For more information call 877-789-7673.
The parade for kids to be in and to watch. Lots of fun, lots of music, along with Tillie the cow and Geico Gecko.
The parade starts at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, June 3rd in the Hollywood District, NE Sandy and 52nd.
Well, this is the reason for the whole thing. The gorgeous, beautiful rose. This is where you can see the roses entered hoping for the grand prize of "Best Rose". Rose growers from all over the Pacific Northwest, over 2,000 of them, display their best.
The show takes place at the Lloyd Center. The ice rink is set up with the displays.
Show hours are:
Thursday, June 4 - 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Friday, June 5 - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Admission is $3.00.
The Starlight Parade is an old tradition of the Portland Rose Festival. Held at night and with brightly illuminated floats, bands, and marching groups, it is a favorite of many.
This year's parade is on Saturday, May 30 in downtown Portland. The parade begins at 8:30 pm. It will also be televised on FOX 12.
An easy way to get into downtown Portland for Rose Festival activities is the Max Train.
Looking for a place to stay in Portland? See Portland Hotels.