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National Hero Announced as Junior Parade Grand Marshal

Smokey Says… I’m the Grand Marshal of the Fred Meyer Junior Parade

Smokey Bear — America’s wildfire prevention icon — has been named Grand Marshal of the 2016 Fred Meyer Junior Parade. Smokey along with his escorts from the U.S. Forest Service will lead the Festival’s traditional all children’s parade (Wednesday, June 8 at 1:00 p.m. — N.E. Sandy Boulevard from 52nd Avenue to Grant High School at N.E. 36th and Tillamook Street). The Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention program, created in 1944 by the U.S. Forest Service “is the longest running public service advertising campaign in U.S. History.” (Read more at smokeybear.com.)

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Smokey Bear, who will join with Fred Bear to cut the ribbon starting the parade, represents the U.S. Forest Service as one of the Rose Festival’s Grand Marshal heroes in the 2016 Fred Meyer Junior Parade. 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.

From the very beginning, the Portland Rose Festival has celebrated our community’s children. The first Rose Festival in 1907 included a children’s parade of 2000 boys and girls representing 23 schools! Today, nearly 10,000 middle and grade school students, including more than 20 bands skip class to march in the Hollywood Neighborhood. An official Rose Festival event since 1936, the Junior Parade is the nation’s oldest and largest children’s parade.