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The annual Rose Festival race on the Westmoreland Park Casting Pond was as fun as ever this year

DAVID F. ASHTON - Westmoreland neighbor Benji Lightheart-Faletra gives his all, as he paddles his craft - named Meat Lug - across the historic Westmoreland Casting Pond. Probably it was the record 101 degree heat on Sunday, June 25, that caused the number of entrants and observers to dip – but the smaller-than-usual crowd had a great time, when the 2017 Portland Rose Festival Milk Carton Boat Races took to Westmoreland Casting Pond.

A total of 27 craft – created from used milk cartons and jugs – were registered, and were used by different members of the same racing teams.

"This is a wonderful celebration, the launching of summer, and at the tail end of the Portland Rose Festival," smiled Royal Rosarian Chancellor of the Exchequer Kimberly Bown at the event. "It's so fun seeing both the young and old race on the pond – and noting which craft hold up to the rigors of racing!"

Although the Milk Carton Boat Races are still sponsored in part by the Oregon Dairy Farmers, it languished last year, causing the Royal Rosarians to step up and host the event.

Events like this are important to the Royal Rosarians she said. "That is, enhancing and contributing to public service in Portland. This event epitomizes that; it's family fun and family-friendly – it's just a great day!

"We hope that we can continue hosting the event; we're always looking for sponsors to keep it a free event, but it does take a certain amount of money to put on," Bown observed. It is considered Inner Southeast's main Rose Festival event each year.

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