For more than 100 years, the Portland Rose Festival has been a beloved celebration of our beautiful city. It takes place every year from the end of May through June. This citywide celebration is inclusive of everyone with many free and cheap events to enjoy.
The 2023 Rose Festival is taking place May 26-June 25 with events throughout Portland.
The Rose Festival will kick off with a magnificent fireworks show over the river. Below I have listed all the main events of the festival. Plan your visit to this historic annual festival.
2023 Free and Cheap Portland Rose Festival Events
Rose Festival Opening Night and Fireworks
This awesome display over the Willamette River marks the official opening night of the CityFair amusement park at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. A concert by fan favorite Nu Wavers will warm up the crowd and the fireworks begin after dark (approx. 9:50 p.m.). The concert is included with CityFair admission.
The fireworks show can be seen outside the fair along Tom McCall Waterfront Park for free. The Hawthorne and Morrison bridges will close to all motorized vehicles from 8 p.m. to midnight so the public can view the show. Festivities take place from 5-11 p.m. on May 26.
May 26-June 11, weekends only
For three consecutive weekends, a carnival atmosphere will take over waterfront park. Carnival rides, games, live music and entertainment, and all your favorite fair food and beverages are available at CityFair.
The price of CityFair admission is $12 online and $15 at the gate. Kids age 6 and under get in for free with an adult. There are also multiple ways for you to get free CityFair admission. CityFair weekends include May 26-29, June 2-4 and June 9-11.
Rose Festival Treasure Hunt
A Rose Festival medallion is hidden on public property in the Portland-metro area. Daily clues are offered to help hunters narrow down the location of the treasure. These clues make reference to local history and geography.
Clues are released at 10 a.m. daily on the Rose Festival website starting May 28. The person who finds the medallion will receive $1,000.
Rose Festival Art Show
The Oregon Society of Artists is hosting a special art show open to everyone. Full details have not been released yet. The OSA gallery is located at 2185 SW Park Place.
This is the more casual prelude to the Grand Floral Parade. Before the marching bands and humorous floats go by, cheer on the runners in the Starlight Run, many of whom are in fun costumes. The Starlight Parade has a procession of illuminated floats and marching bands that light up the streets of downtown Portland. The parade is free to watch from 8-10 p.m. on June 3.
It’s the nation’s oldest and largest children’s parade, for and featuring children, their pets and bands from elementary and middle schools. The parade runs through the Hollywood District in Northeast Portland. It is free to attend and taking place 1-3 p.m. on June 7.
The arrival of guest ships from the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy is always a spectacular display, with Portland fireboats spraying red, white and blue water, and private boats escorting the ships to Portland’s seawall. Look for the sailors marching in the Grand Floral Parade.
Ships will be docked from June 7-11 and offering free ship tours on a first come, first served basis.
Spring Rose Show
The annual Spring Rose Show is the largest and longest running rose show in the nation. Roses are what Portland’s all about, especially during Rose Festival.
The show is held at the Lloyd Center. Hours are Thursday, June 8, 1 to 7 p.m. and Friday, June 9, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free to attend.
Watch the crowning of the Queen of Rosaria at Oregon Square. One of Portland’s most time-honored traditions continues as the new reigning Queen is named during this special ceremony from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on June 9.
Grand Floral Parade
This is the crown jewel of the Rose Festival. You can watch the Grand Floral Parade for free along the parade route on the east side of the river. There is also reserved seating at the Memorial Coliseum for ticketholders, ranging from $15-$30. The Grand Floral Parade is Saturday, June 11, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Dragon Boat Race
Watch from Tom McCall Waterfront Park as more than 60 teams compete in beautifully carved wooden boats from Portland’s sister city in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The races are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 10-11. This event is free to attend.
Juneteenth Oregon Parade and Festival
The free Juneteenth Oregon Parade and Festival brings local jazz, hip hop and soul legends, education, empowering speeches from community leaders and more to the community.
Juneteenth Oregon Parade and Festival is taking place Saturday, June 17, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 18, from noon to 6 p.m. The celebration kicks off with a parade at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
The event is free to attend at Lillis-Albina Park, N Flint Ave. and Russell St. in Portland.
Good in the Hood
This free multicultural music and food festival with live performances, a parade, marketplace, beer and wine garden and a kids’ spaces at King School Park, 4906 NE 6th Ave. The Good in the Hood is June 24-25.
Milk Carton Boat Race
Watch kids and adults race their custom, human powered boats made of recycled milk cartons and jugs at the Westmoreland Casting Pond, SE McLoughlin Blvd and Bybee Blvd. The Milk Carton Boat Race starts at 11 a.m. on June 25 and is free to attend.
For a more detailed list of festival events, check the Portland Rose Festival events calendar.