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No Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade again this year? A Sellwood nonprofit is offering a kind of alternative

COURTESY OF SMILE HISTORY COMMITTEE - It was 1921 - exactly 100 years ago. This newspaper was already fifteen years old, and THE BEEs goat-powered wagon rolled by in what was apparently a neighborhood Rose Festival event. In its wake was a small rose-covered float built onto a smaller wagon.For these two years, devotees of Portland's annual Rose Festival have been without their Grand Floral and Starlight Parades, Queen's Coronation, Fun Center, Naval ships, and rose exhibit. Locally, we have been deprived of the Milk Carton Boat Races at the Westmoreland Park's casting pond – Southeast's very own Rose Festival event. The cancellations were necessary, to prevent the 2020 Rose Festival Parade becoming an historic super-spreader event. But as COVID-19 continues its slow retreat, an opportunity for some rose-centered celebrating is on the calendar in Sellwood, and everyone is invited to join in the fun!

Every Thursday between April and July, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., the nonprofit, locally-run Sellwood Community House at S.E. 15th and Spokane Street serves as a neighborhood Marketplace. Local crafters set up tables on the sidewalks around the building, and offer a variety of artisan wares – from hand-carved wooden spoons and spicy Creole condiments, to toys, clothing and chocolates. Beverages and food may be purchased to consume while enjoying a variety of music and other entertainment in the adjacent playground or under the new, permanent, rainproof canopy. And, to try to fill the "Rose Festival gap", the special theme "Rose Fete" will be the focus of the June 24 Marketplace. "The Silver Julep" – a beverage bar in an Airline trailer – will feature a special rose-flavored cocktail (non-alcoholic drinks are always available). "Caesar, the No Drama Llama", will make an appearance – and the Pride of Portland Chorus, a women's Sweet Adelines barbershop group, will sing at 5:30. Other rose-centered activities are being developed; please watch the Sellwood Community House's website – – for details, times, and opportunities to participate. Everything is coming up roses in Sellwood! Bring friends and family, and enjoy Inner Southeast's own, neighborhood-centered, "Rose Fete"!

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