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Lack of volunteers could prevent Starlight Parade from marching on

By Amanda Arden,


PORTLAND, Ore. ( KOIN ) – The Portland Rose Festival has returned to the city and is continuing its comeback after the pandemic, but officials say that comeback won’t be possible if they don’t get enough volunteers for the events.

According to Portland Rose Festival organizers, volunteers are badly needed for the parades, especially the Starlight Parade on June 3 where they need 10 to 12 more volunteers.

The evening parade is known for its lights and glowing floats. However, if not enough volunteers sign up to help with the event, the Rose Festival can’t receive its parade permits.

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“Your role as a parade guide will involve actively monitoring the closures surrounding the parade route, welcoming attendees to the parade, and guiding community members in wayfinding around the parade area,” said Marlo Eckert, the Portland Rose Festival volunteer committee chair.

Volunteers are also needed to staff parade barricades during the Junior Parade on June 7 and the Grand Floral Parade on June 10.

Organizers say there are volunteer opportunities for every interest and ability.

In addition to staffing barricades, volunteers are needed to decorate the floats. They help put all-natural materials like grass, seeds, fruits, vegetables and roses on the Grand Floral Parade floats.

Volunteers can help keep the parade route clean, as well.

The Rose Festival parades set an industry standard in clean and green practices thanks to volunteers and have even served as an example to other parades across the country. Volunteers who help keep the parade route clean will hand out trash bags before the parade and then gather them at the end of the parade.

Anyone interested in volunteering should register online . Rose Festival staff say they’re happy to help anyone who may need assistance with the process.

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Anyone who volunteers in a Portland Rose Festival event before 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, can enter to win a chance to ride on the Rose Festival logo float with a guest in the Grand Floral Parade on Saturday, June 10. The winner will be announced June 8.

All Rose Festival volunteers receive free CityFair tickets and reserved indoor seating for the Grand Floral Parade at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Volunteers will also be invited to an exclusive volunteer appreciation party.

The 2023 Portland Rose Festival runs from May 26 through June 11.

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