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Anyone Can Be a Kid at the Rose Festival!

Fred Bear (the famous local icon of the Fred Meyer stores and reigning host of the Fred Meyer Junior Parade) welcomes Smokey Bear as Grand Marshal of the largest all-children’s parade in America. The Junior Parade steps off at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 8, 2016, on NE Sandy Boulevard. (The parade starts at NE 52nd Avenue and runs down to 40th Avenue, then north to Tillamook Street and west to Grant High School.)

Smokey Bear — who will join with Fred Bear to cut the ribbon — represents the U.S. Forest Service as one of the Rose Festival’s Grand Marshal Heroes in 2016. Famous for his tagline “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires,” Smokey Bear teaches all ages about the importance of forest fire prevention. Joining this friendly mascot, we welcome forest rangers from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, as well as a group of national park rangers and their 19th century-costumed Living History volunteers from the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

The Rose Festival Fleet Week starts Wednesday with the arrival of the U.S. Coast Guard. Four vessels will pull up river and dock along the West Bank Esplanade between the Burnside and Morrison Jumpers for sale bridges. The public should expect some bridge lifts between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., affecting the Broadway, Steel and Burnside bridges. The U.S. Navy and Royal Canadian Navy are expected to arrive Thursday, June 9, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., affecting the Broadway and Steel Bridges. All ships will depart Monday, June 13, in the early morning hours.

Please Note: All recreational and commercial boaters will be subject to security controls on the river during Fleet Week. All vessels traveling up or down river will be escorted past the security zone set up by the military Thursday through Monday morning.

Twenty eight middle school marching bands will compete for the Sweepstakes Award at the Fred Meyer Junior Parade in four sections. Catch Smokey Bear in the “Our Best Friends presented by Mud Bay” section. Blaze the Trailcat leads off the “Procession of the Species presented by Laurelwood Public House.” Community entries and marching bands dominate the “Be active. Play safe. Stay healthy by Randall Children’s Hospital” section and the final section is all about “Caring for Pets & People by Hannah the Pet Society.”