Volunteers prepare “Avenue of Roses Parade” #9

Learn how to be in this great parade coming up on April 25! Or, be part of it all! See why you’re needed as a volunteer, as well …

These volunteers, who are behind the 2015 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade (and this year’s banner), say they hope you’ll reserve Saturday, April 25, for their ninth annual procession.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The spring season is just beginning, but a group of dedicated volunteers have been working and planning all winter, getting ready for one of the largest outdoor annual events held in outer East Portland: The 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade.

“This grand community event – this will be our ninth year – was started by one man with an idea, Ken Turner,” said 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade Chair Dianne Gill at a late March planning meeting.

“While some people scoffed at the thought thousands of people coming out to watch a parade on 82nd Avenue, many business, neighborhood, and community leaders accepted the challenge,” Gill told East Portland News. It is now officially the first major public event of each year’s Portland Rose Festival.

Members of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade Committee – Nicole Seery, Ruth Hander, Kathryn Notson, Johnni Beth Jones, Kilong Ung, (and seated:) Richard Kiely, Nancy Chapin, Dianne Gill, Raelynn Evans, and Eilene Curtiss – take a break from planning this year’s event for a “team photo”.

The first year, they started out with a couple of floats, some cars, and a few dozen marching entries. “Last year, there were more than a thousand parade participants, and as many as 4,000 spectators lining the streets,” Gill pointed out.

The parade, followed by a Community Fair, has grown in size and scope every year, Gill, said “because it is a multi-cultural event that reflects our community, and brings everyone together. This is one day when we can ‘all get under one umbrella’ to enjoy a fun, family experience.”

But, based on metrological history, umbrellas won’t be needed – not more than a sprinkle has fallen during their past parades.

82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association President Richard Kiely with Home Run Graphics reminded that the parade also highlights the diverse business community along the thoroughfare.

“By the way, sponsorships are still available,” Kiely said. “With Human Solutions as our 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor this year, donations and sponsorships can be a tax-deductible donation.”

82nd Avenue of Roses Parade Volunteer Coordinator Johnni Beth Jones spends a moment with committee members Nicole Seery and Eilene Curtiss.

Because the parade is produced by an all-volunteer committee, getting help from the community before – and especially on – parade day, this year April 25, is vitally important.

“It takes about 150 volunteers to help form the parade, act as ‘street monitors’, and help out in other ways, remarked Johnni Beth Jones, who has served as Volunteer Coordinator since the inception of the parade. “Email me, and we’ll find a place for you: Johnni.jones@gmail.com.”

Organizers say they hope to see the community turn out, en masse, for the Ninth Annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade. Archive photo

Participating in the parade is free! Just sign up in advance. Or, plan to come out with your family and friends and cheer on 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade entrants, starting at 9:30 a.m., as it heads out from Eastport Plaza northward into Montavilla.

For more information, including registration forms see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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