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The grand finale of the Rose Festival each year takes place at the Westmoreland Park Casting Pond

DAVID F. ASHTON - Here, paddling intently on the Westmoreland Park Casting Pond, were Sellwoods Obi Bastian and Annabelle Sain-Mortlock. After collecting empty milk jugs and cartons for buoyancy from local coffee shops, restaurants, cafeterias, and individuals – and buying lots of duct tape! – families and friends built 19 semi-floatworthy craft and brought them to the Westmoreland Park Casting Pond on June 23, to participate in the annual Portland Rose Festival Milk Carton Regatta.

A few years ago, the Royal Rosarians took on the mantle of producing this, the last of each year's official Portland Rose Festival Events.

DAVID F. ASHTON - Paddling their way to a victory in the Adult Multiple Rider category of this race were Cassandra Walters and Bill Walters from Woodstock. "It's important to the Royal Rosarians to continue this tradition, because we are the official greeters and ambassadors of goodwill for the City of Portland," remarked this year's Master of Ceremonies, Royal Rosarians Royal Regent (Past President) Adam Baker. "All who come here to watch or participate would agree that this is certainly a goodwill-building, feel-good, family fun event."

Each of the registered milkcraft can be used in multiple competitions during the day in the kids, adults, and mixed racers categories, he pointed out.

DAVID F. ASHTON - In this Multiple Rider race, Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador Natalie Berry, Marion County Dairy Princess Tysha Beeman, and Klamath County Dairy Princess Jaime Evers competed intently. "When you see the good wholesome fun people are having here, it's clearly worth the effort to plan and produce this, here in one of Portland's finest parks," Baker grinned just before starting the first race.

From all over the greater Portland area, teams arrived to compete – with local families prominently included. In heat after heat, they paddled, rowed, and fell into the water, as they tried to win races across the historic, depression-era Casting Pond.

The complete list of winners had not yet been provided to THE BEE when we went to press, but these races are really more about having fun than winning, and always have been. See you at the Milk Carton Boat Races next year!


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