82nd Ave. of Roses Parade attracts scores of participants and throngs of viewers

When you view these two dozen photos, you’ll see what you missed if you didn’t get to this great outer East Portland annual event this year …

In the Eastport Plaza parking lot, Blythe Plavik, Tim Oneal, Kristan Hagstrom, Anne Dufay, and Leah Dawkins get their car decorated – as they prepare to ride the parade route to celebrate the area’s “coalition”, SE Uplift.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Anyone who participated in, or watched, the 2011 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade – a sanctioned Portland Rose Festival “preview event” – could see that this outing was the biggest and best ever.

“We were thrilled with the parade,” said its coordinator, Dianne Gill, of Eastport Plaza, the event’s title sponsor, about the April 30 event.

“Not only did we have more entries than past years, we had more people turn out all along the parade route. To see the people lined up, waving flags, and many in lawn chairs, it was a wonderful day.”

Even though he’d moved out of town, Paul Ellison, now with Bank of the West’s corporate offices, comes back to help marshal the 2011 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade.

Volunteer Kathryn Notson, and Nancy Chapin of The Support Group, check in parade participants.

Two of the many parade’s volunteers, Lauren Kuhn and Jeff Dulcich, get ready to close off a side street just before the parade arrives.

This year’s edition, Gill revealed, featured 84 parade entries. A total of 925 participants made up the procession that traveled along 82nd Avenue from Eastport Plaza to Montavilla.

“This is a true community effort,” Gill added. “The parade committee – about a dozen in number – works the year around to plan, promote, and finance the parade. About 150 folks helped out on parade day, acting as entry-herders and street monitors.”

Here comes 2011’s 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade!

With his grandson, Walker Johnson, “riding shotgun”, one of the first entries to roll by is the patrol car driven by Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander Bill Walker

A highlight for her, personally, Gill disclosed, was when she and Parade Chair Ken Turner strolled out to 82nd Avenue to watch, as the entries were dispatched. “I remember our first parade – and now, it’s a delight seeing what this has become. It felt really good to see all the entries lined up, and all the people lining the streets. We looked at each other and smiled, and said, ‘We all did it’.”

The committee is already at work planning the sixth edition, next year – the last Saturday of April, 2012. “Everybody wants to come back,” Gill said.

Flanked by young neighborhood volunteers on either side, Kathryn Notson carries the banner introducing this year’s parade.

This year’s Grand Marshall, Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, waves to outer East Portland neighbors.

The parade’s chairman, Ken Turner, was enthusiastic about this year’s event. “Public attendance was up. We saw thousands of people lining the parade route. It was a phenomenal success, by every measure”

They’re not willing to rest on their laurels, though. “We’re building toward next year. Look for an even more entertaining and colorful event in 2012!” exclaimed Turner.

2011 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade Photo Album

The Portland Rose Festival’s reigning Queen Victoria Dinu greets her “royal subjects”, at one of last remaining events before the 2011 Queen’s Coronation in June.

A board member of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association, as well as a Spirit of Portland award winner and the owner of Home Run Graphics, Richard Kiely again rides in the parade, chauffeured by his wife, Gail.

There’s nothing more colorful than this 50’ Dragon, supported by a line of dancers from Lee’s Association Dragon & Lion Dance Team. Look for them again in the Portland Rose Festival Starlight Parade.

Representing the East Portland Chamber of Commerce, President Judy Leach, shown here with Adventist Medical Center and Past President Rich Sorem of Rose City Associates, together carry the EPCC banner.

Marching along with the Burgerville folks, it’s Portland Mayor Sam Adams!

Mrs. Oregon International 2011, Kimberlee Buckingham, greets parade viewers.

No group enlivens a parade like the Gateway Area Business Association’s “Keystone Kops”.

Leading Portland Fire & Rescue’s Engine 11 is Multnomah County Commissioner, District 2, Judy Shiprack.

Classic cars, custom vehicles, and hot rods by the dozen – legally “cruising” 82nd Avenue of Roses.

Catching their breath after playing while marching uphill, the David Douglas School District’s Ron Russell Middle School Marching Band prepares to play another set of rousing music.

There’s no doubt about it, by the look on her face: Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz really seems to enjoy being in this annual East Portland parade.

Orgullo Morelense Cernaiac represents our Hispanic community and the MEXICO 2010 Rose Festival Court Award entry, with this colorful group of costumed dancers.

A favorite of all the kids is Freddie Bear.

Again providing their unique musical marching presentation, Kell’s Irish Pipes & Drums plays as they celebrate their 18th anniversary this year.

Not all entries are large; this simple “float” in the back of a pickup truck provides the Madison South Neighborhood a platform to greet parade viewers – and to see the parade from a unique point of view.

Bringing up the end of the parade are executives, managers, workers – and trucks from Walmart.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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