Roses, the most useful of flowers, can act as fuel for romance, a mouthguard for tango dancers, or the weapon of choice in flower fights. Celebrate the versatility of these rosy blooms with today's deal: for $17, you get one indoor-reserved-seat ticket to Queen's Coronation and The Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade (a $30 value) and a souvenir program (a $5 value) at the Portland Rose Festival (a $35 total value) on Saturday, June 11. Tickets will be available for pickup at will call at Memorial Coliseum starting at 7:30 a.m. June 11.
Celebrated for more than 100 years, the Portland Rose Festival spotlights the general wonder and whimsy of the area, with the Floral Parade acting as the proverbial rose in the cap of the three-week celebration. The weatherproofed, indoor reserved seats include padded chairs and access to indoor restrooms, protecting the body and soul from dehumanizing precipitation, seat cramps, and booby-trapped port-a-johns. The festivities begin with the Pacific Power-sponsored Queen's Coronation at 8:30 a.m., during which the Rose Festival Queen is named. The winner represents the best in scholastic achievements, civic involvement, and resemblance to a playing-card monarch.
After crowning the queen, celebrate her new, benevolent reign at 10 a.m. with the commencement of the Grand Floral Parade. Watch the armada of fantastical floats in awe, which range from delightful to mind melting—including all-floral floats that drop jaws to cartoon-wolf levels. Marching bands, dancers, and other crowd-pleasing performances will also strut their stuff throughout the route. Various prizes will be awarded to participants during the party procession, including honors for the best floats, bands, costumes, and dance troupes.
Portland Rose Festival
Known as the City of Roses, Portland has been annually celebrating its moniker for more than 100 years. Local publisher's wife Mrs. Henry Pittock and her friends held the first Portland Rose Festival in 1889, in the Pittock home's own garden. Fast-forward 120 years and this small gathering dedicated to the city's signature perennial has expanded into an annual month-long event. Gardeners whisper sweet nothings to displays featuring more than 4,000 varieties of blooms, with a focus on that year's Official Rose and its fellow honorees.
The rose show isn't the Festival's only draw. Throughout its run, various public events take place downtown on both sides of—and in—the Willamette River. During the Dragon Boat Race, more than 80 local and international rowing teams pilot festive boats against each other in a heated dash down the river. About halfway through the festival, crowds gather in Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the start of the Grand Floral Parade. Following a different theme each year, this event gathers vibrant floats bedecked in floral displays and accompanied by dance ensembles, live a capella groups, and traditional marching bands. During the parade's launch, organizers crown that year's queen and unite her with the Festival's fun-loving mascot, the Clown Prince. The Grand Floral Walk gathers revelers to follow the same route as the downtown parade.
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