Portland’s fabulous annual Rose Festival is upon us, and this year’s theme is Let’s Festival! Festival-ing is easy at CityFair, as it will be at June 8th’s annual Grand Floral Parade.
Yes, Portland’s Rose Festival really is about the roses. But it also offers a variety of family-friendly events ranging from fireworks to parades to a fun run to concerts to dragon boat races to Fleet Week to art shows to the carnival-like CityFair!
While all of the festival’s details are available on its main website, we’ve listed some highlights below!
Rose Festival Treasure Hunt: Underway
The popular Rose Festival Treasure Hunt offers daily online clues guiding participants to the location of a small medallion. The winner will take home $1,000 and win an overnight stay for two, including dinner, at Spirit Mountain Casino!
Starlight Run & Parade: Saturday, June 1
Run: $25 for adults; Parade: Free!
Helping to keep Portland weird for more than 40 years, the Starlight Run features thousands of costume-clad walkers and runners winding along the parade route, which, after sunset, is filled about 100 illuminated floats and a party atmosphere.
Junior Parade: Wednesday, June 5 @ 1 pm
Elementary and middle school students from around Portland wear costumes and decorate their bikes & wagons in the nation’s oldest and largest childrens’ parade.
Can’t make it in person? The parade’s covered live on KPTV, channel 12 in Portland.
Fleet Week: June 5-9
Whether you’re interested in seeing the ships or the sailors, Fleet Week brings ships from around the world to Portland during Rose Festival. Besides being called the Rose City, another of Portland’s monikers is Bridgetown — and you’ll get a first-hand glimpse of its many vertical-lift and drawbridges in action as the fleet rolls in (and as it departs).
In addition, many ships offer tours from Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
CityFair: Open May 24-27, May 31-June 2, and June 7-9
Admission $8 for ages 7+
Rides, live music, food and beverages abound at the CityFair (if you’re from Portland you may know this as the Fun Center — apparently that name wasn’t hip enough any more!). Located on the waterfront, CityFair is the iconic nerve center of the Rose Festival.
CityFair Admission Discounts
- Rose Festival Souvenir Pin is a season pass – $10 at select Fred Meyer stores, the Rose Garden Store, and the PRFF Office, while supplies last.
- Portland General Electric is sponsoring CityFair and offering a 2-for-1 admission coupon.
- Kids 6 and under are always FREE.
- FREE admission for Veterans, Reservists, and Active Military with Valid Military ID.
- FREE admission before 5 p.m. on Friday, May 31 & Friday, June 7!
- Advance tickets are available online and offer a variety of discounts, too.
Grand Floral Parade: Saturday, June 8 @ 10 am
Free; reserved seats available for a fee
Sure, the parade starts at 10, but Portlanders are famous for staking out their territory hours in advance. Don’t want to get up early? Reserved seats are available.
Want to get an up close look at the floats before the parade? Volunteer to be a float decorator!
Dragon Boat Races: Friday & Saturday, June 8 & 9, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Free for spectators
Dragon boat racers compete in gorgeous boats graciously provided through the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association. The races take place at the south end of Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Warning — watching this year’s races just might inspire you to race next year!
Good in the Hood Multi-Cultural Festival, June 21-23
This festival features live music, its own parade (Saturday at 11 am) , an information village, marketplace, beer and wine garden, and a youth venue along with a kids space.
Rose Cup Races: Friday-Sunday, July 12-14
3-day advance tickets $50, including parking
Portland International Raceway hosts the Rose Cup amateur car races, the premier amateur road racing event in the Pacific Northwest! One-day tickets are also available.
We’ve just scratched the surface of what makes Portland’s Rose Festival a fantastic tradition. Explore their website for additional details and, if you live in Portland, consider volunteering to ensure the Festival’s success!
Enjoy the 2019 Portland Rose Festival, whether you visit for a week or a weekend!