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Starlight Parade

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A Twinkling, Summer Night Downtown

One of our most popular events, the Portland General Electric/SOLVE Starlight Parade offers funky, eclectic fun for everyone. From traditional marching bands and flood-lit floats, to glow-in-the-dark umbrellas and unique hand-built entries, you’ll see the best of Portland’s diverse community groups (and surrounding Northwest region) together in one whimsical pageant. 2016 makes for an exciting milestone, as the Starlight Parade celebrates 40 years in the city of Portland!


The Starlight Parade continues a longtime festival tradition from the early 1900s, when illuminated floats built on electric trolley cars made their way through the city on trolley tracks. Today, participants light up the night with approximately 100 illuminated entries along a 2.25-mile route. The parade draws more than 325,000 spectators to downtown Portland, and is also broadcast live from 9:00 – 11:00 p.m. on FOX 12. Don’t miss the fun of one of the Rose Festival’s best and brightest traditions!

Applications for the 2016 Starlight Parade are now closed. Please check back next year for the 2017 parade application.

2016 Grand Marshal

The Grand Marshal of the 2016 PGE/SOLVE Starlight Parade is the Portland Police Bureau! We salute the Portland Police Bureau with this title to honor their service to the Rose Festival and the city of Portland. Over 300 police officers will work the Starlight Parade this year. Parade fans are invited to join us in a countdown to a Moment of Celebration at 9:50 pm on Starlight Parade night resulting in the largest single cheer ever heard in the Rose City. Help us show appreciation for these local heroes when the clock strikes, and we’ll have a celebration that will take over the illuminated downtown Portland like no other.

2016 Starlight Parade Sections

Each year the PGE/SOLVE Starlight Parade features unique themed sections that each celebrate a different aspect of the Portland community. This year, the 2016 parade entries are divided into three shining sections.

Spirit of the West presented by Spirit Mountain Casino will kick off the parade, reviving a tradition featured in the first Rose Festival, where floats representing communities throughout the West paraded through the city. This year’s Spirit of the West section features many friends of the Rose Festival from neighboring communities, including the Marysville Strawberry Festival, Capital Lakefair, Daffodil Festival and Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival. Look for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Royalty leading the way down the route.

The second themed section of the parade is the Starlight Stars presented by Portland Film Festival, which proudly showcases our local stars with outstanding volunteers spreading community spirit in the Rose City. Local stars include Grand Marshal of the parade, the Portland Police Bureau, Fox 12 Oregon’s Mark Nelsen, K103′s Bruce, John and Janine, and the Rose Festival’s own Character Clown Corps.

As the night gets darker, the lights get brighter! The parade concludes with Portlandia presented by CareOregon. CareOregon’s colorful float returns, as well as Oregon Falun Dafa, who won the Sweepstakes Award in 2015 for best illumination. Go back to the future with the Pacific Northwest DeLorean Club, swashbuckle with the Pirates of Portlandia and get ready for the zombie apocalypse with FrightTown. The Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers will electrify the streets with their beats to see if they can once again take home the Best Marching entry award.

View the 2016 Parade Lineup

As of May 24:
Parade Lineup [PDF]

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2016 Awards

See the 2016 Starlight Parade Award winners HERE.

2016 Starlight Parade After-Party

The Portland Rose Festival is very excited to announce that we’ll be hosting the first-ever electronic dance party on the Bob Lanphere’s Beaverton Honda Stage for the Starlight After-Party this year! Featuring sounds by Mija (OWSLA), Team Ezy (OWSLA), and Bones (Gotta Dance Dirty), this is a dance party you won’t wanna miss! Join us downtown at Tom McCall Waterfront Park just after the Starlight Parade to keep the party vibes going strong while we continue to celebrate Portland in all of its wonderfully weird glory!

Tickets are on sale now! This show is expected to sell out, so get your tickets HERE.

Celebrating ‘Clean and Green’

This year, the Rose Festival’s EXCESSIVE CELEBRATION recognizes 20 years of keeping Portland Clean and Green! Environmental responsibility is a well-known and celebrated tradition in Portland.

Thanks to the efforts of our sponsors, Portland General Electric, SOLVE and many volunteers, you’ll find the Starlight Parade to be one of the cleanest in America. Before the parade begins, watch for volunteers who will be handing out bags to help keep litter and recyclables off of our streets. After the last parade entry, keep your eyes peeled for our post-parade clean-up crew, filled with volunteers and professionals, who will be picking up trash to keep our streets clean.