82nd Avenue of Roses Parade again takes to the street

WATCH OUR EXCLUSIVE VIDEO OF THE ENTIRE PARADE | Marching bands! Community groups! Lion and Dragon Dancers! Here’s why this returning outer East Portland parade was everything one could hope for in a parade …

In the staging area for the 17th Annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, Portland City Commissioner Mingus Mapps stands with Portland Rose Festival Foundation President Contesa Diaz-Nicolaidis – along with Clown Prince Angel Ocasio, who is having his costume adjusted by Public Relations Manager Rich Jarvis – as all of them pause for a semi-candid photo.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The last Saturday in April just wasn’t the same, for the last three years – because of the absence of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade. But, with the pandemic in remission, its 17th annual edition was back on Saturday, April 29, bigger and better than ever.

While the parade was still assembling in the Century Theater parking lot behind Eastport Plaza, families were gathering along the S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses north of SE Bush Street, choosing their own locations to enjoy the parade.

Here comes the 17th Annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade!

Carrying the banner are volunteers Larry Smith and Kathryn Notson.

The parade stepped off promptly at 9:30 a.m., and marched north along the temporarily-closed highway, with only occasional stops at major intersections to let cross traffic through, orchestrated by members of the Portland Police Bureau Motorcycle Division.

A total of 45 entries entertained thousands of watchers for over a half an hour.

Announcing the parade for those there in person near the start of the parade, and being streamed on the KATU-TV website, are Eric Norberg, editor of THE BEE, and Multnomah County Library’s Patrick Provant.

Riders of the “BlackPearl Friesian Dance Troupe” prance their way through the parade route.

The 56th Army Band from Joint Base Lewis-McChord – known as the Big Foot Brass Band – provides lively music for the “dance party in the street” held by the Mysti Krewe of Nimbus seen behind them.

The farthest-traveling entry was from Arizona: Miss Tall International, Mary Elemen.

And, this year’s parade included more marching bands than ever before.

Kids scrambled for candy tossed by some parade participants, while parents smiled as they enjoyed the return of this hope-giving community parade.

Watch our presentation of the entire parade:

“The 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade began in 2007, started by a small group of businesses, friends, and neighbors, and was intended to create a fun, festive, and welcoming event to show off these neighborhoods around 82nd Avenue,” recalled Parade Coordinator Nancy Chapin.

Riding in the parade (shown in parade order) are Portland City Commissioners Mingus Mapps, Rene Gonzalez, Dan Ryan, and Carmen Rubio.

It’s National Clown of the Year, Cha Cha the Clown!

Together making a colorful parade entry is White Lotus Dragon & Lion Dance.

“The pandemic may have slowed down its momentum, but all who saw this year’s parade would certainly say ‘It’s back!’” Chapin told East Portland News.

The parade organizers are proud to be associated with the Portland Rose Festival, Chapin said, “Because, sixty years ago, the Rose Festival Parade was held along 82nd Avenue; so we’re continuing the tradition.” Indeed, the parade is recognized as part of Portland’s annual citywide celebration.

“We’re grateful that the Portland Rose Festival Foundation is a sponsor, and are supportive of us being the first parade of the parade season,” Chapin smiled.

As always, the unmistakable thundering beats of the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers thrills the watching crowd.

As in past parades, the lively Orgullo Morelense Cemiac dancers entertain along the parade route.

With their Lucky Lions and 50-foot Dragon are members of the Portland Lee’s Association Dragon and Lion Dance Team.

“So many volunteers put so much into this parade because they realize that the east side of Portland needs to have a signature event that celebrates our community, and gives our residents and businesses an opportunity to celebrate, in person, here in East Portland,” observed Chapin.

Look for the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade
to return on April 27, 2024!

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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