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The first parade of the Rose Festival season each year is the '82nd Avenue of Roses Parade'...

DAVID F. ASHTON - Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Acting Commander Tasia Hager rode ahead of the parades Color Guard, which was from Lents Post 1412 Veterans of Foreign Wars. With dark clouds delivering waves of showers on Saturday morning, April 27, it really looked as if the "82nd Avenue of Roses Parade" might proceed, for the first time ever, in the rain.

But, a mere five minutes before the parade stepped off from the parking lot of the Century Eastport 16 Theater, the rain stopped. And there was no more rain that morning, as the 12th annual two-mile parade, presented by PDX Bridge Festival, along S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses began.

Entrants of all kinds, representing the diversity of the greater Portland area – with some of them previewing Portland Rose Festival events – delighted the spectators who gathered along the route of this year's parade, from Eastport Plaza north to the Montavilla neighborhood. Its theme this year was "Roses in the Heart of Portland".

Among elected officials in the parade, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler chose to walk the route, greeting bystanders along the way.

"This is great!" Wheeler told THE BEE."This parade brings the community together with businesses, neighbors, and more neighbors coming from all over the place to celebrate what we are as a community.

"I love the diversity in this neighborhood … with people of different backgrounds and different 'lived experiences' coming together and just having fun. In this day and age, this is something that we should do more of – come together and have fun. That's how we get to know each other," said Wheeler said, as he strolled along the parade route.

Churches, schools, community groups, nonprofit organizations, and businesses entered this year's parade.

"This year, our parade featured 56 entrants – and, a total of about 600 participants walked, rolled, or rode in the parade!" exclaimed parade organizer Nancy Chapin. "It was so much fun for me too. For the first time, I actually rode along the parade route. From my vantage point, I estimate as many as 6,000 people lined the parade route.

"We are already looking forward to the 13th Annual Parade – on Saturday, April 25, 2020. So add it to your calendar now!" suggested Chapin.


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