May 24, 2023 - Things to Do

A quick guide to Portland's Rose Festival

A woman with big red and yellow roses in her hair flashes a peace sign at the camera.

A 2022 Starlight runner. Photo: Courtesy of Portland Rose Festival

Portland's Rose Festival kicks off Friday evening with fireworks at Waterfront Park.

Why it matters: It's the city's biggest festival, and this year the question is: Is Portland ready for fun?

The big picture: The festival runs for more than two weeks through Sunday, June 11.

  • Some affiliated events — such as the bloom tour, a self-guided walk to flower-related art installations around downtown and stores offering discounts — have already started.
  • The traditional milk carton boat races, always a little later, are June 25 this year, at Westmoreland Park.

Parades: Three biggies, all with their own vibe. All will be broadcast live on Fox 12 too.

  • The Starlight Parade is Saturday, June 3, 8–10pm, featuring light-up floats winding through downtown. Try to arrive early to see all the runners in creative costumes; the Starlight Run follows the same route right ahead of the parade.
  • The Junior Parade is Wednesday, June 7, 1–3pm in Hollywood. Any kid can join, though organizers ask you to pre-register. Decorated bikes are more than welcome!
  • The Grand Floral Parade will stick to the Eastside only for the second year in a row on Saturday, June 10, from 10am to noon.

Rides: The CityFair carnival along the downtown waterfront opens only on the weekends. Rides and food, games with those tempting giant stuffed animal prizes, clowns, music and more.

  • Admission runs from $12 online to $15 at the gate to $20 for a pass covering all days it's open. Buy passes by May 29.

The Court: Meet the 15 young women representing Portland-area high schools on the Rose Festival Court. A queen will be crowned at a ceremony right before the Grand Floral parade.

Boats and games: The treasure hunt offers daily clues to find a medallion somewhere in the city, and a $1,000 prize.

Flowers: The Rose Show is June 8–9 at Lloyd Center; free admission. There will be 4,000 top blooms in one place.

  • Entries to the Rose Garden contest are due May 26. You have to live within 20 miles of downtown and the judges will come to you.

Visit the festival site for more events, history, and opportunities to volunteer.


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