The Rose Festival Announces Changes to Parade Routes
Starting in 2017, the downtown routes for the Rose Festival’s Starlight and Grand Floral parades will move off 10th Avenue to accommodate the operation of the Portland Streetcar. After receiving clear and final direction from the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Commissioner Steve Novick’s office to move the route or lose the city permit to operate the parades, the Portland Rose Festival Foundation will begin planning for the required change immediately.
“We’ve resisted this route change because 10th Avenue is such a perfect home for the parades,” said Jeff Curtis, Rose Festival CEO. “The Grand Floral Parade has utilized this street for most of its 104 years, and with the food carts and the library steps, it’s a popular viewing place. But regardless of the route, the Rose Festival will continue to offer our parade fans the high quality events they’ve come to expect.”
The Grand Floral Parade’s downtown route has remained the same since 1984, for 29 years. That year saw a slight change in the downtown streets due to the construction of the MAX light rail line. The Starlight Parade has utilized 10th Avenue since its inception in 1976.
Desiree Hamilton, producer of the wacky costumed Starlight Run, which steps off just prior to the popular Starlight Parade, said, “The Starlight Run 5k course may be slightly altered to reflect this new route, but we will maintain its 5k distance.”
For more than 100 years, the Grand Floral Parade has been the crown jewel of the Portland Rose Festival. Rated one of the Top 5 parades in the U.S. by USA Today, it’s the only major parade in the country to pass through a building–Veterans Memorial Coliseum–offering spectacular views of the award-winning floats, equestrian units and marching bands as they begin the 4.2 mile route.
“Our number one priority is to be sure the thousands of fans who traditionally watch the parades on Stark Street and 10th Avenue are informed of this change,” Curtis added. The Starlight and Grand Floral parades will now turn west on Washington from SW Broadway, turn south on 12th toward Taylor, where they will then turn west and cross I-405 to the disband area near Lincoln High School.
View IMAGE of map showing the move.