After two years without a traditional Rose Festival celebration, we are back in 2022 for the Rose City Reunion. Our big outdoor events are making a comeback, including our three popular parades; Fleet Week—with real ships at Portland’s waterfront and three weekends of CityFair at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, featuring the biggest, baddest fireworks show in our history! And to kick it all off, we’ll host a special Rose City Reunion Concert featuring the Oregon Symphony on the RoZone stage at the park on Thursday, May 26!
We are all looking forward to this Reunion, but I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the wonderful work done during the past two years by the organizations that steward our festival. In 2020 and 2021, we were all able to continue to come together either virtually or in-person to events like this Blessing ceremony, which was held live last year. We had a Rose Festival Court the past two years, and we crowned a Rose Festival Queen both years at a live ceremony in Washington Park. We want to thank our friends with Portland's Royal Rosarians for working so closely with us on preserving the pageantry, even during a pandemic.
Together we made sure that Hope Reigned during the most difficult times, and today we are here to express gratitude and excitement.
One of the programs we’re excited about is our 2022 Rose Festival Court. The Court represents 15 high schools and neighborhoods, and these young women are all receiving valuable training, mentorships and scholarships. On June 10, we will crown a new Rose Festival Queen in Peninsula Park.
And this year’s Grand Floral Parade will feature the most Rose Festival royalty in history in a section of the parade that highlights the centennial of the Crown of Rosaria. This Royal Reunion will include an entire festival float-tilla: Four different floats will carry royal riders, including the float sponsored by Unitus Community Credit Union carrying the regal representatives sitting here today. We will have a float carrying Queen Anya and the 2020 Court; one carrying Queen Lili and the 2021 Court; and the 50-year Court from 1972 will ride on the float sponsored by the Royal Rosarian Foundation. We are pleased to announce that Kimberly Bown and Korrie Hoeckendorff will ride on the floats featuring the courts from their respective years as Prime Minister, the two recent years without a Rose Festival parade.
Watch as well for Emily Hastings, the 2020-2021 president of the Portland Rose Society, in this year’s Grand Floral Parade.
Of course this year’s leaders will be featured in all three parades, but we wanted to acknowledge the importance of the work done by those who didn’t get quite as many opportunities to celebrate their success during the past two years.
This year the Rose Festival is on the eastside, the westside and all around the town! We are proud to offer festival events to the entire Portland metro region.
And yes, the Rose Festival is also proud to be part of Portland’s comeback story. With the help of our many supporters, our corporate partners, the organizations represented today and the City of Portland, we have been able to keep the festival not just surviving—but thriving.
Last year when we announced we would not offer our big outdoor events during the spring of 2021, we said we couldn’t wait to welcome back our friends, fans and followers to our big parades, concerts and carnival at CityFair. We predicted it would be the biggest family reunion in Portland history. And now that Rose City Reunion is just a few weeks away. The sense of anticipation is palpable today, along with the gratitude and excitement I mentioned earlier.
Thank you to all our steadfast friends and supporters who have sustained us. As promised, Rose Festival is back in a big way, and we will be here for many, many more years to come!