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Portland’s Official Festival Named Best In World… Again!

International Festivals & Events Association Gives Rose Festival Highest Honor

For the second time in five years Portland’s official festival — the Portland Rose Festival — was awarded the Grand Pinnacle as the top festival in 2011 at the IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards convention in Dallas, Texas on Monday October 3. (The Portland Rose Festival last won the Grand Pinnacle for the Festival’s Centennial Celebration in 2007.)

Rose Festival President Sue Bunday and CEO Jeff Curtis (in attendance to receive the award) also brought home a grab bag which included eight Gold (including Best Environmental Program), two Silver and six Bronze awards.

“This is the 14th year in a row we’ve been in the top three in the Best Environmental category,” said Sue Bunday, (President, Portland Rose Festival Foundation). “I’m thrilled to be able to bring home the first place (Gold) award for the Cleanest and Greenest Festival in the World!”

Steve Schmader, President and CEO of the IFEA (the trade organization for the events industry) said, “The Rose Festival has been a leader in this industry for more than a century. It’s always a pleasure to see the work they do and have it rewarded. There’s no higher award than the Grand Pinnacle.”

The Rose Festival Renaissance is real! Festival results are up in almost every category that can be measured. Attendance for Rose Festival events was up, as well, most notably at the Starlight Parade (where it was estimated as one of the largest crowds in recent history). Portland’s public transit system reported record numbers. TriMet experienced its largest day ever on the Saturday of Starlight Parade — and second-largest on Grand Floral Parade day.

In other words, the Portland Rose Festival has done a whole lot since reaching its centenary milestone in 2007, including:

  • Becoming Portland’s Official Festival in 2010
  • Taking occupation of a historic building on the waterfront in downtown Portland, a gift from the City of Portland
  • Shoring up its top sponsorships, adding two six-figure title sponsors and one major event, a fitness walk
  • Securing a partnership with Competitor Group, the world’s most popular running franchise, to host a Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in 2012
  • Completely renewing its most lucrative event, giving it new programming, new promotions and a new name: Rose Festival CityFair