The fun keeps blossoming at the Portland Rose Festival
There's a reason that the Portland Rose Festival has been drawing crowds for more than 100 summers. Named the Best Festival in the World by the International Festivals & Events Association, this celebration is packed with exciting activities that appeal to people of all ages and interests. Not only that, these events contribute to valuable causes like environmentalism and volunteerism, so you can feel good attending them. From May 18 to June 15, head to Portland, Ore., to see for yourself why this urban fair is one of the most memorable and entertaining festivals you'll ever experience.
Here's a glimpse of what your trip will entail:
The Annual Sprint Rose Show at the Lloyd Center Ice Rink is not your typical floral display – it's the biggest and longest-running rose show in the nation. Entry is open to anyone who wants a glimpse at some of the most stunning flowers in the region. As you walk through the arena, you'll smell the sweet fragrances of more than 4,000 buds, which have been cultivated by hopeful rose growers across the Pacific Northwest. You can decide for yourself which blossoms you think are most beautiful, but the judges will award trophies to those they deem the best.
Grand Floral Fireworks
While fireworks are nothing new to the Portland Rose Festival, this year there will be not one night, but two of awe-inspiring displays. The Opening Night RoZone Fireworks Experience on Friday, May 24 kicks off the festival with a bang. Still, you don't want to miss out on the second show, the Grand Floral Fireworks, June 7. Starting at 10 p.m., you'll be amazed by the state's largest fireworks displays, with explosive visuals over CityFair.
Grand Floral Walk
What better way to fuse exercise with excitement than walking in front of half a million cheering spectators? Participating in the Grand Floral Walk June 8 is a fun way to experience the festival from a different perspective. The 4-mile route begins at the Memorial Coliseum at 9:30 am sharp. The Prairie High School Marching Band will then lead the way as you pass nearly 500,000 onlookers. Don't forget to add some real or fake flower accents to your ensemble, and you'll have the chance to win an outstanding prize in the Flower Power Costume Contest. Prizes are awarded not only for Best Individual, but also Best Group and even Best Decorated Stroller, so bust out the blossoms and go all out with your decorations.
Rose Garden Store
Before you head home, be sure to stop at the Rose Garden Store at Portland's famous International Rose Test Garden for a souvenir. There are plenty of items here that can serve as a memento from your trip, or even make a great gift for a loved one who has a penchant for flowers. Every single product in the store either looks like a rose, smells like one, tastes like one, holds one of these flowers, is adorned by one, or is about growing them yourself. The best part? All proceeds from the store benefit Portland Parks & Recreation rose gardens, children's programs and Washington Park.