Living History

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Rose Festival Living History Program


Celebrating ten years of insight and inspiration, the 2017 version of the Rose Festival’s award-winning Living History Program is focused on revisiting the many characters and fascinating stories shared over the past decade.


2017 Season

Led by Artistic Director Angel Ocasio, two women from Rose Festival’s past, present and future are visiting local schools and civic groups during the 2017 season. Queen Thelma Hollingsworth represents the 1950s, sharing fascinating stories from that decade, more than forty years after her historic election as Rose Festival Queen in 1914. Parade Queen Marilyn Clint, the Rose Festival’s Chief Operating Officer, offers her own perspective on Rose Festival history, having spent nearly half of that history as a staff member.

Mayor Harry Lane Day

This year the Rose Festival salutes Mayor Harry Lane during the centennial of his death. May 23, 2017 will be known as “Mayor Harry Lane Day” in honor of a man who was ahead of his time. Harry Lane represented everything important to Portlanders today, including accessible health care, the rights of women and native Americans, the creation of jobs for the homeless, the fight against machine politics and corrupt business practices and, finally, the desire for peace. As a U.S. Senator, he was in the unpopular minority who voted against the U.S. entry into World War I, and after making this infamous vote, he passed away at the young age of 61. He was also one of the key visionary leaders who called for a permanent Rose Festival to brand Portland as the “Rose City” and stimulate tourism. He actually contributed $100 of his own money to start the fundraising for the festival.