It's the big weekend for the Rose Festival with Queen's Coronation and Grand Floral Parade, sailors galore visiting our city and dragon boats racing on the Willamette River.
The 15 Rose Festival princesses gather at Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the coronation at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 8.
The princesses are: Sophia Zhang, Lincoln; Olivia Joy Keepes, LaSalle College Prep (Metro East); Maria Lopez, Tigard (Metro West); Makenzie Espinoza, Roosevelt; Aleena Thammavong, David Douglas; Lindsey Hausafus, Cleveland; Mya Brazile, St. Mary's Academy; Christina Liu, Franklin; Chloe Unflat, Wilson; Ellie Hylland, Central Catholic; Amy Bonilla, Parkrose; Gabrielle Ferroggiaro, Madison; Melissa Davila, Benson; Stella Monteverde-Cakebread, Grant; Daria Stalions, Jefferson.
The new Queen of Rosaria will succeed Kiara Johnson of Parkrose, the 2018 queen.
Then, it's Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade time at 10 a.m., and the pageantry has many highlights:
• Watch for the official charity Meals on Wheels People float and Precision Ladle Drill Team. On the float will be a "Seniors Court" of six ladies who dine at Meals on Wheels People neighborhood centers. They'll be wearing pink sweaters, tiaras and pageant banners that say "Rose Festival Senior-Senior Court." They are Janice Okamoto (Belmont neighborhood), Sonia Dreyfus (Lents), Pauline Long (downtown), Rhonda Perlatti (Tigard), Louise Fowler (Hillsboro) and Marlene McDonald (Cherry Blossom).
• Always creative with their floats, Reser's Fine Foods will feature bees — as in drones dressed as bees, buzzing around a dome-shaped "beehive" guarded by some static bees and surrounded by flower blossoms. It was the brainchild of Mari Jo Prlain of Reser's and Gene Dent of SCi 3.2, the Rose Festival's official float builder.
"We think it's going to be really sweet," Dent says, pun intended.
• Made up of union electricians and steelworkers, Rosie the Riveters return, honoring the women who helped the World War II effort; they will be marching again in the parade.
• Grand marshals pay homage to the centerpieces of the festival — the Court, CityFair and Grand Floral Parade. They are: Sheila Holden of Pacific Power, who founded the Rose Festival Court Mentorship program in 2005; Ron and Beverly Burback, owners of Funtastic Traveling Shows at CityFair; and Vern Hulit and daughter Stacey Flintjer, the past and current equestrian chairman for the Grand Floral Parade.
• Flintjer says she really enjoys guiding horses and horse people for the Grand Floral Parade, but also says 2020 could be the last season for her crew. So, enjoy the horses while they still march in the parade.
"Vern and Stacey set the standard for the parade. I want to salute them for what they've done," says Marilyn Clint, Rose Festival chief operating officer. "I would match horses in our parade with any; Pasadena (Tournament of Roses Parade) can't touch what we do with horses. The Battle of Flowers Parade in San Antonio can't touch us. It's all about standards that Vern set years ago and Stacey upheld for 20 years."
Flintjer accepts the compliments, and credits the volunteers for the doings, which she considers "a family reunion. It's the people who have had a really good time; people really go all out."
This and that
The Portland Rose Society turns 130 years old this year; it's the oldest and largest rose society in the United States. It puts on the 130th Annual Spring Rose Show, 1 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday at Lloyd Center. ... Fleet Week includes U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy ships in port. Ship tours are limited, and tour times vary. ... The Royal Rosarians Honorary Knighting Ceremony takes place at 9:30 a.m. Friday, June 7, at Peninsula Park Rose Garden. ... CityFair hours are 3-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday at Waterfront Park. The weekend theme is Fairy Tales. There'll be Silent Disco on Friday and the Grand Floral Scavenger Hunt on Saturday. The RoZone Concerts feature "Let's Salute!" military band showcase on Friday and Roots & Boots '90s Electric Throwdown featuring Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin and Collin Raye, 6 p.m. Saturday ($28/$32 general admission). ... The Dragon Boat Race takes place Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. More than 50 teams take to the water. ... Ben Lemons of Battle Ground, Washington, was selected as grand marshal for the Grand Floral Walk, 9:30 a.m. Saturday. He works at the local Fred Meyer, walks everywhere he goes and always smiles and offers hugs. The Rose Festival is celebrating Battle Ground's 65th float in the Grand Floral Parade. ... Dent and SCi 3.2 are looking for volunteers to color and texturize floats this week. Go to www.sci32.com/volunteer to sign up. ... Kiwanis Club of Portland is celebrating 100 years of service by joining the Rose Festival. They'll have an entry in Grand Floral Parade and a large display at the Rose Festival History Museum at CityFair. ... For more: www.rosefestival.org.