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Rose Festival bursts onto city with a bang

Parades, coronations light up skyline during the annual June bash
by: L.E. BASKOW, The Rose Festival's Dragon Boat Races will take place on June 12 and 13 at the south end of Waterfront Park.

Fireworks will burst over the city of Portland, and Waterfront Village will launch its 17-day run when the Rose Festival opens Friday, May 28.

Here's a rundown of some of the big events for the 103rd Rose Festival (also, see www.rosefestival.org for information):

May 28, Fireworks Spectacular - It's free admission to Waterfront Park, with Curtis Salgado playing at 8 p.m., the rose lighting ceremony taking place at 9:45 p.m. followed by the bangs and bright lights of fireworks at 10 p.m.

May 28-June 13, Waterfront Village - Admission is $5 for ages 7 and over (free before 4 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays), and it opens at 5 p.m. May 28 and 11 a.m. every day except June 1, 7 and 8 (closed). Theme weekends are May 28-31 ('All-American Spirit'), June 2-6 ('Barbecue and Brew') and June 9-13 ('Circus City'). Funtastic Traveling Shows provides the rides and Toucan's Exotic Animals the creatures.

June 2-6, Fleet Week - Military men and women and their ships cruise up the Willamette River, dock along the waterfront and enjoy their free time in the Rose City. Admission is free to tour ships (first-come basis, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Vessels from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and Canadian Maritime Forces will visit.

June 5, Starlight Run - A mere $15 gets you in the race, $28 for the race and T-shirt; kids 10 and under free. The 3.1-mile race starts at 7:45 p.m. (registration 6 p.m.) at Lincoln High School, Southwest 16th Avenue and Salmon Street.

June 5, Starlight Parade - Presented by Portland General Electric and SOLV, it starts at 8:30 p.m. with KGW-TV (8) televising live from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. The downtown parade draws about 250,000 spectators. The 'Spirit of the West' section returns. Vancouver, Wash., resident and fashion designer Seth Aaron Henderson will be the grand marshal. He's the winner of Lifetime Network's 'Project Runway Season 7' series; he'll ride on a float with wife, Tina, and children, Megann and Aaron.

June 9, Junior Parade - Kids take center stage at 1 p.m. in the Hollywood District. It's free. Put on by Fred Meyer, it will feature the lovable Fred Bear, Tillie the Cow and Baby Loaf Bus and new entry Union Pacific Miniature Train. Grand marshal is Savannah Outen, 17, a Radio Disney star and Portland native.

June 10-11, Spring Rose Show - The 122nd annual event, put on by Lloyd Center/Portland Rose Society, highlights the many variations of the beautiful flower. It'll be at Lloyd Center Ice Rink, 1 to 9 p.m. June 10 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 11. Admission is $3.

June 11-13, Rose Cup Races - Without a big-time open-wheel series stopping at Portland International Raceway, the event cruises on as the city's Rose Festival racing attraction. Racing goes from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, with the Rose Cup set for Sunday, June 13 afternoon. Various admissions include a three-day pass for $20. It is put on by Temp-Control Mechanical Corp.

June 12-13, Dragon Boat Races - Weekend warriors with paddles in hand compete on the Willamette River. Races go from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at the south end of Waterfront Park.

June 12, Queen's Coronation - Pacific Power is the sponsor as Rosaria names its ceremonial queen, from the many candidates from Portland high schools, at 8:30 a.m. at Memorial Coliseum. Admission is $30.

June 12, Grand Floral Parade - It starts at 10 a.m. at Memorial Coliseum ($30 reserved seating inside, $15 supersaver at rear end of parade; $30 reserved chairs outside, $25 reserved bleachers). Primarily sponsored by KeyBank, it is televised live on KGW-TV (8) at 10 a.m. The parade features sections 'Northwest Spirit,' 'Spirit of Service' and 'International Spirit.' The grand marshal is Brian Grant, the ex-Trail Blazers player who resides in Portland and who has been battling Parkinson's disease.

- Jason Vondersmith