City of Beaverton and Rose Festival announce partnership with half-marathon

TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Rose Festival Foundation CEO Jeff Curtis, left, along with Beaverton mayor Dennis Doyle announce a new half marathon coming to Beaverton during the Rose Festival. The Portland Rose Festival will be off and running this summer. And the starting point will be Beaverton.

Mayor Denny Doyle said the city is partnering with the annual festival to host a half-marathon, starting at Southridge High School, on Sunday, May 28.

"We are truly very excited about this new partnership and the tremendous opportunity it brings to Beaverton," Doyle said, who spoke Wednesday at a Wednesday press conference. "People are going to have a lot of fun with this one."

The half-marathon will be the first major Rose Festival event of 2017. Kicking off the event in Beaverton helps the Rose Festival with its regional approach to festival activities.

The Portland Rose Festival will coordinate the race in conjunction with The Portland Marathon organization. The Beaverton race is a continuation of the Portland Rose Festival's half-marathon event, which in previous years was known as the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. 

Hosting the event in the City of Beaverton is possible due in large part to the partnership between the Beaverton School District, Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District and the city. 

"The spirit of partnership we have in Beaverton is unbeatable — and it's because we work so well together sharing our resources and locations that we can pull this off," Doyle said.  He also praised the school district for agreeing to host the event at Southridge and THPRD for sharing resources at the Conestoga Recreation Center. 

"For more than 60 years, we've encouraged health and wellness in our community, and this event is consistent with that mission," Doug Menke, THPRD general manager, said.  "We're excited the Rose Festival is coming to Beaverton and will do our part to make sure it's a fun and memorable experience for everyone."

Rose Festival officials also are coordinating with the Beaverton Police Department to determine the course route, which will be announced in detail in the coming months.

The city's recently adopted community vision plan calls for more events and activities in the neighborhoods. 

"Being able to bring a high-caliber event, hosted by the Rose Festival, into the heart of one of our neighborhoods is a big-win for the city and exactly what our residents have asked us for," Jaann Hoisington, chair of the city's Visioning Advisory Committee, said.

The Rose Festival has enjoyed more than 100 years of community outreach from the slopes of Mount Hood to the Oregon beaches. Every year, thousands of participants and volunteers from around the Pacific Northwest bring their talent and skills in music, equestrian precision and artistic creativity to help make the Rose Festival internationally recognized. Two years ago, the Festival started a mini-float program, a parade within a parade, that made it possible and affordable to highlight other communities from New Westminster, British Columbia, to Estacada in the Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade.

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