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Elvis — Portland’s Iconic and Popular Street Performer — Selected Starlight Grand Marshal

From the Church of Elvis to the Starlight Parade

Portland’s own Elvis — the iconic street performer with a cardboard guitar — is selected Grand Marshal for the 2017 Portland General Electric/SOLVE Starlight Parade, Saturday June 3. The Festival informed Elvis and his fans at a special karaoke performance at Dantes on Monday night. The Starlight Parade — which forms and starts in Elvis’s ‘hood’ in the lower Burnside Old Town area — will feature for the first time a crowd pleasing member of the community that represents the fabric of the city’s unique and weird celebration of life.


“Portland’s Elvis (John Schroder) has been an institution to the fine City of Roses, for as long as I can remember,” says Tres Shannon co-owner Voodoo Doughnuts. “Saturday Market, The Church Bounce house clearance of Elvis, a fixture at The X-Ray Cafe, Satyricon, Dantes and just the streets of downtown. I think Elvis totally and completely sums up all of what is a quirky, scary, and fun, about Portland, Oregon. He is a perfect conduit to the new Portland from the old Portland.”

John “Elvis” Schroder grew popular with the rise of the short lived Church of Elvis from 1985 through 1995. He would hang out near the coin operated novelty museum/art gallery on SW Ankeny Street created by Stephanie G. Pierce. Playing his trademark cardboard guitar, Elvis serenaded passersby daily. Shannon first met Elvis at the “WHERE’S the ART?” event in 1986. “He was a wonderful addition to our weird and wacky crew. I’ve seen him countless times performing doing everything from Elvis to ‘Darth Elvis’ and performing with a live band, solo, and recording studios.” The band loves him and the crowd loves him.”

According to Shannon, Elvis has been a fixture around Voodoo Doughnuts since they opened in 2003. Elvis — who can still be seen on the streets performing — has a new music CD out called “57 FANS CAN’T BE WRONG – The GREATEST HITS OF ELVIS!” He also released a Christmas 45.

Voodoo Doughnut has been an iconic doughnut shop in the heart of Portland for almost 15 years now. Voodoo Doughnut in Portland Oregon, Eugene Oregon, Denver Colorado and now Austin Texas, was the brain child of Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon who had been friends for a while. They always wanted to start a business together. The pair wanted something that would fit into an extraordinary Portland Oregon business climate; something fun, different, and one for the ages. After much searching under rocks, tequilas, and ‘other places’, they found what they were looking for… doughnuts!!

Cat Daddy with his stunningly brilliant business sense, and Tres with his seemingly endless supply of connections, set forth to conquer Old Town, Portland Oregon, and the world with the Doughnut!! After a meeting with some Armenians and drumming masters, they were ready to set up shop in Portland — Old Town.

Watch for Elvis in the Portland General Electric/SOLVE Starlight Parade is Saturday, June 3, 2017 as he becomes the first Rose Festival Grand Marshal to travel the new parade route on SW Washington and 12th Avenue.