by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Volunteers carry the banner that signals the start of the 7th Annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade.Up until eight years ago, the last thing most people would have expected to see happening along S.E. 82nd Avenue would be a parade – complete with floats and marching bands.

But on April 27, the 7th Annual “82nd Avenue of Roses Parade” stepped off from Eastport Plaza – bigger and better than the previous six.

The merry throng – complete with music, floats and fun – headed north on S.E. 82nd Avenue up to Yamhill Street, before disbanding.

According to parade organizer Dianne Gill, this year’s Avenue of Roses Parade – an officially-sanctioned Portland Rose Festival Event – featured:


  • 84 entries;


  • 1,200 walkers/marchers;


  • 125 motorized or mobile entries; and,


  • 6 marching bands.

    As Portland Mayor Charlie Hales walked the route, he commented that this was his first experience with the parade. "This is excellent. It's clear that you get people working together. I love it!"

    Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick also walked the route, as did Commissioner Nick Fish, who commented as he strode along, "This is one of my favorite parades. We welcome this opportunity for members of the Portland City Council to come out and celebrate with neighbors on the east side."

    Joining him in greeting folks along the route was Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz. "This is a wonderful parade, the best one yet! It shows 82nd Avenue is important, that people care about it, and that they care about the people who live in the area."

    Riding near the front of the parade, Ken Turner -- the man who started it all -- rode as Grand Marshal. According to parade organizers, it took some persuasion to get Turner -- a private man, who prefers to work behind the scenes -- to accept the honor.

    After the parade, Turner talked with THE BEE. “I feel incredibly satisfied, and very happy about what the parade has become,” Turner grinned. The parade idea had gotten started under Turner when he was in charge of Eastport Plaza shopping center.

    “When it was conceived, we were all wondering about participation, turnout, and acceptance. What I saw, riding in the parade, was that everything we’d hoped for was there. Lots of enthusiasm, smiles of people along the Avenue, and kids looking all excited and happy.”

    Based on estimates of those participating in the parade, this year’s edition also brought out the most spectators ever – as many as 8,000 people turned out to view the parade.

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