An Historic Year for the Portland Rose Festival!
[scroll down to view photos highlighting the Rose Festival Centennial Celebration of 2007]
This year we paid tribute to the past in so many ways, they are too numerous to recount! We resurrected the King of the Festival, Rex Oregonus, who ruled over the festival from 1908 to 1913; returned to our roots as we proclaimed our Rose Festival Court Ambassadors "Princesses" once again; gave new life to historic figures, Georgiana Pittock and Mayor Harry Lane, as part of our living history program out in the community and in select Portland public schools; and created a four-part, historically-themed Grand Floral Parade, representing the different eras of the past 100 years –- essentially four parades within a parade!
The Grandest Grand Floral Parade, while not one of the warmest in history, was by far the most elaborate and spectacular in recent memory! The parade began with eight Navy Seal Leapfrogs parachuting on to the roof of the Memorial Coliseum, while inside, Elizabeth Larson of Lincoln High School was crowned as the 2007 Rose Festival Queen. Approximately half-a-million parade spectators ignored the inclement weather and lined the streets of Portland in anticipation of the 30 larger-than-life, all-floral floats and thousands of marching units, bands, dancers, equestrians and performers that participated in the historic sections of the parade, representing the "Jazz Generation," the "Greatest Generation," the "Groovy Generation," and the "Global Generation." This year's highlights included the 100 person float, the famous tiger float, a real WWII tank, the Wartime Princesses float, a Beatles float featuring a yellow submarine and the Charle Morimoto dance group from Japan!
As part of the Centennial festivities this year, the 2007 Rose Festival also produced the Centennial Ball and Centennial Exposition at the Oregon Convention Center. At the Ball, the nationally-renowned Portland band, Pink Martini, played to a sold-out crowd of 1,200 attendees and packed the dance floor all night long! At the Exposition, parade floats lined the perimeter of the room, which was overflowing with vintage dresses, cars and memorabilia from the past 100 years, along with authentic vaudeville performances!
One of the most memorable and hopefully enduring projects of 2007 was the premiere of the festival's motion picture film, 'From One Rose,' at the Hollywood Theatre on June 7th. The film, produced by F&F Film Services and directed by Ira Flowers, was the result of more than 20 months of research, writing and collaboration and more than a thousand hours of work by each of nine local students selected to participate in the first-ever Rose Festival Student Film Project. The result is a true work of art that is technically advanced, historically fascinating and absolutely heartwarming. Local critics are raving about the film, which will be showing at limited engagement screenings throughout Portland and available on DVD.
The overwhelming positive feedback from the community in response to this year's celebration was evident in so many ways: standing-room-only parade routes; daily coverage by the Oregonian and the news media; and the passing of SJR 26 by the Oregon State Legislature, proclaiming June as a time for Oregonians to travel to Portland and celebrate the Rose Festival! This year was not simply a celebration of the past 100 years, but a time to reinvigorate the festival and the community with the passion and the vision to begin another 100 years.
The following photos are available as a hi-res image by clicking on each image and are to be used for professional uses only. Please contact the Portland Rose Festival for permission to use these images by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide your name, company and reason for use. Thank you for promoting the Portland Rose Festival!
Rose Festival Court
Waterfront Village and Tall Sailing Ships
Centennial Motion Picture Premiere
Concert at the Park
Queen Elizabeth and the Queen's Coronation
Grand Floral Parade