by: David F. Ashton, The Dragon and Lion dancers, pictured from last year, will add color to the 82nd Avenue of Roses.

The first 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade was a success by all measures. Since then, the volunteers who put on this event have been working diligently to prepare for this year's street pageant next week on April 19.

Seeing a parade running along this storied byway took many by surprise last year. With more publicity, and greater participation from neighborhood and business groups, this parade should be a fun event for everyone.

Year in the making

Plans are underway for an even more colorful and exciting event this year, according to its organizer Ken Turner, long-time East Portland booster.

'We're looking forward to a great event,' Turner while he was meeting with the organizing volunteers. 'It looks like we'll have 40 entries, including floats and walking entries from neighborhood and business associations, service organizations, car clubs and farmers markets.'

Unlike a neighborhood parade, Turner said this event required a great deal of advance planning.

'One reason is that we're shutting down a state highway for two hours. But, Oregon Department of Transportation, the Portland Office of Transportation, Portland Police Bureau and other agencies have helped and supported our efforts.'

Madison South, Brentwood Darlington, Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood associations, along with the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association, are providing the volunteers to produce this neighborhood spectacle.

More music, more fun

This year, the parade will feature the music and marching band antics of the 'Get-a-Life Marching Band.' This group of foot-borne musicians is an offshoot of the 'One More Time Around Again Band,' famous for their annual Portland Rose Festival appearances. After the parade, about 11 a.m., the band will perform at Eastport Plaza for a free concert.

You'll see the USS Enterprise cruise down 82nd Avenue of Roses, courtesy of the U.S. Navy; be delighted by the color and pageantry of the Chinese Dragon and Lion Dancers; tap your toes to the syncopated rhythms of the Madison High School Drum Corps; be greeted by the Royal Rosarians and see honor paid to our flag and service men and women by the color guard from Veterans of Foreign Wars No. 1.

'And there's a good chance you'll see some of Portland and Multnomah County's leading politicians and candidates in the parade,' Turner added.

Starts at 9 a.m.

The April 19 parade steps out onto Southeast 82nd Avenue of Roses from Eastport Plaza at 9 a.m. sharp. The parade will proceed north to Southeast Yamhill Street and into the Montavilla Neighborhood.

Help needed

Many volunteers are needed the day of the parade.

'There isn't heavy lifting involved,' said Johnni Beth Jones, volunteer coordinator. 'And, the time commitment is small. We need adults willing to be 'street closure guards' the morning of the parade.'

Contact Jones at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. She asks that you list 'Parade Volunteer' in the subject of your e-mail so she'll spot it right away.

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