The need for strong, independent local journalism
is more urgent than ever. Please support the city we
love by joining Friends of Willamette Week.

The Portland Rose Festival Will Not Hold Any of Its Large Outdoor Events in 2021

The Porch Parade will return this year, though, as well as the Treasure Hunt and a virtual Fleet Week.

For the second year in a row, the Portland Rose Festival's parades and pageantry will take place virtually.

Today, the association that runs the multiweek event announced that due to the continued risk of large gatherings during the pandemic, it would not hold its traditional processions that draw thousands of spectators to the city's streets.

Also canceled: the carnival and concert series in Waterfront Park.

"Oregon is not quite ready yet for big outdoor events," said Jeff Curtis, CEO of the Portland Rose Festival Foundation, in a statement.

The Portland institution, which always gets underway in late May, was postponed in 2020 approximately two months before its scheduled start date. Planners eventually pivoted to online forms of entertainment, including a Porch Parade, which asked people to submit online entries of their vibrantly adorned front patios, windows and stoops in order to create walking routes that pass by registered participants.

That event will return in 2021 along with virtual Fleet Week tours and an outdoor Rose Festival Queen ceremony in June, as health restrictions allow. The annual Treasure Hunt is still scheduled to kick off Memorial Day weekend.

Before 2020, the Rose Festival had only been canceled twice in its then 112-year history: in 1918 due to World War I and then again in 1926 while the city built a new stadium to host the events.

Organizers are planning to return to normal in 2022 and are calling next year's event "Portland's ultimate Family Reunion." It's already promising three "world-class parades," the return of amusement rides and a fireworks show.