Floats, bands, llamas, Timbers: Grand Floral Parade

More than half a million people come out every year to watch the parade

The Battle Ground High School Marching band in Grand Floral Parade on June 11, 2016. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Grand Floral Parade is the culmination of the Rose Festival, with a history going back more than 100 years.

Every year marching bands from all over the region, floats, clowns, animals (including  Rojo the Therapy Llama, escorted by KOIN’s own Jenny Hansson and Jennifer Hoff) and much more participate in the 4.3 mile route.

The Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade draws more than half a million people downtown every year. (KOIN)
The Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade draws more than half a million people downtown every year. (KOIN)

The Portland Timbers served as Grand Marshal this year, where the theme was “Excessive Celebration.”

Organizers estimate more than half a million people attend the Grand Floral Parade every year, making it the second largest all-floral parade in North America and the single largest spectator event in Oregon.

Before the parade began, Centennial High School’s Grace Ramstad was named 2016 Rose Festival Queen.

Folks were camping out in tents along the route Friday night to get the best view of the parade.

For some, it was up to grandma and grandpa to come early in the morning and section off a good spot.

Sarah Wellnitz brings her kids to the Grand Floral Parade every year. (KOIN)
Sarah Wellnitz brings her kids to the Grand Floral Parade every year. (KOIN)

“We just kind of strolled in and enjoyed what they did for is,” Sarah Wellnitz told KOIN 6. Wellnitz has been bringing her kids to the parade since they were born.

She never misses it. “I just love the Rose Festival Parade.”

The Wellnitz kids sat along the curb waiting for the excitement, especially the bands.

“I root for them all the time because they’re my favorite,” Andrew Wellnitz said.

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