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CareOregon Starlight Parade Names Poison Waters as Grand Marshal

Festival Makes Slight Adjustment to 2023 Route

Poison Waters will lead the CareOregon Starlight Parade as 2023 Grand Marshal. Waters was introduced at a special Rose Festival kick-off event hosted by Quantum Fiber Thursday evening. The Festival also unveiled the Oak Knoll Rose Festival labeled 2023 limited edition wines. The Starlight Parade steps off on Naito Parkway adjacent to Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, June 3, right after the family fun favorite, costume crazy Starlight Run, that starts at 6:30 p.m.

“Me? Grand Marshall! Oh My Goodness,” say’s Poison Waters. “Moving to Portland as a child in 1979 when money was all but nonexistent, and trying to figure out who I would become, was super scary. The Portland Rose Festival brought me such joy! Being in marching band allowed me to participate in the Fred Meyer Junior Parade, the Starlight Parade and the Grand Floral Parade, and I have such fond memories of being a part of something so fabulous! Thank you for choosing me to be this year’s Grand Marshall for the CareOregon Starlight Parade! I CAN’T WAIT!”

Poison Waters - headliner and hostess at Darcelle XV Showplace since the early 1990’s - has been a drag performer, presenter and community activist since 1988. Waters, AKA Kevin Cook (one of Portland’s most popular and well known drag performers) has modeled-in and hosted, many drag pageants. She was crowned as Rose Empress of Portland's Imperial Sovereign Rose Court in 2001. Waters performs weekly at Darcelle XV and is host of Sunday for Brunch at Noon in the storied NW Portland establishment.

Parade fans will find a slight change to the CareOregon Starlight parade route, as the Rose Festival continues to evaluate best options for presenting Portland’s popular nighttime spectacle. The Starlight Run will follow the same path as the parade with a few extra blocks added to make distance. Runners - with or without costumes - can still register for the Starlight Run 5K at:

The 2023 Starlight Parade will once again start on Naito Parkway at the Morrison bridge, near Harvey Milk Street, and head south to turn west on Salmon, then north on 4th Avenue to Burnside Street. The parade will not cross over Burnside, but instead turns west and goes to Broadway, where it will turn south and head up to SW Taylor for the last leg toward disband at SW 14th Avenue. See map here:
The CareOregon Starlight Parade will be televised live at 8:30 p.m. on KPTV FOX 12 Oregon.

Oak Knoll Winery is celebrating more than 50 years of Oregon Wine, and is the Rose Festival official winery. Each year Oak Knoll creates special editions of the Rose Festival Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Rosé labels, produced by Rose City Label Company. Each bottle, individually numbered, of the collector's commemorative series, is a unique and special blend, with limited cases produced. Bottles can be purchased directly from Oak Knoll Winery in Hillsboro, or on their website:

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