Your Frugal Guide to the Portland Rose Festival
For more than 100 years. the Portland Rose Festival has been a beloved celebration of our beautiful city. It takes place every year at the end of May and into early June. This citywide celebration is inclusive of everyone with many free events the whole family will enjoy.
The official opening of the festival is marked by magnificent fireworks over the river on Friday, May 24. The main events of the Rose Festival, most of them free, are listed here. For a more detailed list of festival events, check the Portland Rose Festival calendar.
Free Portland Rose Festival Events
Fireworks. FREE. This awesome display over the Willamette River marks the official opening night of the Rose Festival and the CityFair amusement park. Friday, May 24, nightfall, approx. 9:50 p.m.
CityFair. $5 admission for ages 7 and older when purchased in advance. For three consecutive weekends, a carnival atmosphere will take over Waterfront Park. Rides, games, live music and entertainment, shopping, food and beverages May 24-27, May 31-June 2, and June 7-9.
Starlight Parade. FREE. This is the less serious, more casual prelude to the Grand Floral Parade. Before the marching bands and humorous floats go by, cheer for the runners in the Starlight Run, many of them in costume. The run follows the parade route and begins 45 minutes before the parade. Saturday, June 1, 8:30 p.m., downtown Portland.
Junior Parade. FREE. 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. Wednesday, June 5, 1 p.m.
Fleet Week. FREE. The arrival of guest ships from the U.S. and Canadian navies 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 in the river June 5 – 9. Ship tours, FREE.
Spring Rose Show. FREE. The annual Spring Rose Show is the largest and longest-running rose show in the nation. But roses are what Portland’s all about, especially during Rose Festival. Held at Lloyd Center. Thursday, June 6, 1 – 9 p.m. Friday, June 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Grand Floral Parade. FREE for spectators along the parade route. Tickets for reserved seating at the Memorial Coliseum range from $15 to $30. Parade-goers inside the Coliseum will see the Coronation of the Queen of Rosaria. Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m.
Dragon Boat Races. FREE. Watch from the riverbank near the Hawthorne Bridge as teams compete in beautifully carved wooden boats from Portland’s sister city in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. June 8-9, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Good in the Hood Multicultural Festival. FREE. This multicultural music and food festival with live music, a parade, market place, beer and wine garden and a kids’ spaces at King School Park on Friday, June 21, 6 – 10 p.m., Saturday, June 22, 12 – 10 p.m. and June 23, 12 – 8 p.m. The parade is Saturday at 11 a.m.
Milk Carton Boat Races. FREE. Watch kids and adults race and show off their handmade, human powered boats made of recycled milk cartons and jugs at the Westmoreland Casting Pond on Sunday, June 23, at 11 a.m.
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