Rose Festival Milk Carton Boat Races gain new category

How about it, outer East Portland? With many categories of boat entries already available, find out what new kind of watercraft is encouraged to enter – and, see why it certainly doesn’t have to be built for speed …

Pete Kent, Executive Director of the Oregon Dairy Products Commission, tells about the new “show boat” category that will be judged during the 2010 Portland Rose Festival Milk Carton Boat Races.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
After a long absence caused by the draining of the Westmoreland Park Casting Pond, the Milk Carton Boat Races returned last year, with the refilling of the pond, as an official feature of the Portland Rose Festival. And this year, it’s not only back, but it’s bigger.

“Today we’re launching the registration drive for this year’s Milk Carton Boat Races,” announced Pete Kent, the Executive Director of the event’s sponsor, The Oregon Dairy Products Commission, at the Casting Pond a couple of weeks ago.

“Right here, with the help the great folks at Portland Parks & Recreation, we’re looking forward to another fun community event, on June 13! And this year, we’re introducing something big – actually, really big!” Kent proclaimed. “We’re introducing a new category: The Showboat.”

Showboats aren’t for racing, Kent explained. “They will be judged on their style and design, not on their speed.”

Pete Kent, Executive Director of the Oregon Dairy Products Commission, christens the Showboat – as Oregon State Dairy Princess Hanna Emerson gets ready to take the boat out for a spin on the Westmoreland Park Casting Pond.

Looking happy that it indeed floats, Oregon State Dairy Princess Hanna Emerson paddles her way around the Westmoreland Park Casting Pond – previewing the new “Showboat” category that will be judged during the 2010 Portland Rose Festival Milk Carton Boat Races.

The minimum requirement is that it floats. It need not be decorated with a dairy product theme. But what is required is that the flotation part is comprised only of milk cartons or plastic milk jugs. “There are 150 plastic jugs supporting our demonstration float, here,” Kent smiled.

Liza McQuade, Chair of Portland Rose Festival Foundation’s Sanctioned Events Committee, said she was looking forward to the June 13 races with enthusiasm.

“This is a great event, in which entire families can participate,” McQuade explained. “People can be creative, get involved, act silly, and take part in the 2010Portland Rose Festival celebration – all at the same time!”

After the maiden voyage of the new “Showboat”, Liza McQuade, Chair of Portland Rose Festival Foundation’s Sanctioned Events Committee, helps Oregon State Dairy Princess Hanna Emerson tie up her craft.

So, ladies and gentlemen, start your boatbuilding! As you do, here’s a tip we learned last year – make sure you construct your boat using waterproof duct tape and glue!

For more information, building tips – and the required registration forms – go online to their website CLICK HERE to open that webpage.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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