Touring Rose Festival 'Porch Parades' in Inner Southeast
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck a year ago March, the 2020 Rose Festival was largely cancelled – including its most-loved parades, the Starlight Parade and the Grand Floral Parade. Instead, the nonprofit Rose Festival Association came up with a placeholder of sorts, which it called "Porch Parades".
A Rose Festival spokesman this year, in announcing the second – and hopefully final – Rose Festival "Porch Parades" instead of the two major parades, explained what the Porch Parades actually are:
"The Portland Rose Festival Parades have entertained and inspired our community and visitors from around the world for more than 100 years. Each year the spectacular floats, award-winning marching bands, talented equestrians, and colorful community groups perform for hundreds of thousands of parade-goers on the streets of Portland. This spring, the Rose Festival will continue to evolve these traditions finding new ways to celebrate community spirit and resilience, and to inspire hope [as the pandemic lingers]."The Rose Festival's 'Parading in Place' concept wasn't only popular in Portland – festivals across the country picked up the idea in San Antonio, Detroit, New Orleans, Mobile, Alabama, and Washington D.C., to name just a few."With the city, state, and country slowly emerging from the pandemic this summer, it seems likely that next year, we'll resume having the real much-loved parades in June in the Rose City.
But, in the meantime, every household, individual, or business planning a "Porch Parade" display was urged to register it with the Rose Festival Association, which would put it on a map of the city, and they would also get a "Porch Parade" sign they could post with the display if they chose to do so.THE BEE decided to photograph each of the six Porch Parades on the map inside this newspaper's service area in Inner Southeast, on Saturday, June 12, the day before the end of Porch Parade season – and we nearly succeeded. We found and photographed five of the six, and they are presented here. A sixth was supposed to be on S.E. 29th Avenue just south of Gladstone Street in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, but we went by twice and failed to spot it, so we don't know if the registrants actually did create a display there or not.Here, we show you – in case you missed them – the other five. And next year we're hoping for a full revival of all the events and pageantry of the historic Portland Rose Festival!
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