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Estacada's Ford Leadership Cohort floats to Portland

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: PAULINA MENCHACA - Using rice and blue paint at a work event for Estacada's entry into the Grand Floral Parade, Gloria Polzin creates the Clackamas River on the city's new logo.What started out as a golf cart will soon be transformed into a colorful representation of Estacada.

The city’s Ford Institute Leadership Cohort has began construction on their mini float for the Grand Floral Parade in the Portland Rose Festival.

The float will participate in the 4.2-mile parade, which starts at Veterans Memorial Coliseum and ends in downtown Portland, on Saturday, June 11.

After sending out a request for proposals, the group received four designs and chose one by Brenda Scott and Kerrie Hubbard.

“The design captures a lot of what’s going on in Estacada in terms of art and recreation,” said cohort member Paulina Menchaca.

The float, which uses a golf cart as its base, features the city’s new logo, a camping tent, a campfire, the Clackamas River, trees, fish and flowers. During the parade, a backpacker, fisherman and kayaker will walk behind the float.

“It’s a fabulous way to represent Estacada,” said cohort member Gloria Polzin.

Festival guidelines dictate that the majority of the float’s surfaces be covered in organic material, so the cohort has been using ground coconut dyed in different colors, rice, flaxseed, moss and flowers to decorate the float.

Hubbard said creating the float has been a “big, fun learning process.”

“It’s been really interesting to figure out how to do everything,” she said. “None of us have ever made a float before.”CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: PAULINA MENCHACA - The float's fish were created using corn meal, thistle, and crushed and dyed coconut.

The group is in the process of installing moss on the float’s base and designing the float’s mushrooms, fish and rocks. Next, they’ll create the float’s tent, waterfall and other landscaping.

Polzin said one of her favorite parts of the design is the use of blue delphiniums to create the waterfall and orange marigolds for the campfire.

To Scott, one of the most interesting parts of the design is the tent.

“If it works out, we’re going to have the driver inside of the tent looking out of the mesh screen,” she said.

Volunteers are still needed to help build the float, and the group welcomes anyone interested to attend a work event, scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 4, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday, June 5, at Clackamas River Elementary School, 301 N.E. Second Ave. Community members are invited to join in the construction or admire the float as it comes along.

Menchaca is excited about the community involvement.

“We want people to come see it and spread the news,” she said. “It will be a lot of fun.”

Hubbard agreed.

“(The project is) something that could pull the community together,” she said.

So Estacada residents who don’t make it to the Portland Rose Festival can still participate in the fun, Clackamas River Growlers, 367 S.E. Main St., and The Mason Jar, 360 Broadway St., will host viewing events to watch the televised parade, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 11.

Hubbard hopes Estacada’s participation in the parade helps put the town on the map.

“I really love Estacada, and I feel like it should be more of a destination,” she said.

Polzin is equally optimistic about the event.

“We’re going to represent Estacada to the whole world,” she said. “It’s going to be great.”

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