The Starlight Parade Approaches!

The skies are overcast.  The precipitation is at record levels.  Hay Fever season is in high gear.  Why, it must be time to kick off THE ROSE FESTIVAL!  Portland’s favorite celebration kicks off this week with the zany Starlight Parade!

It’s a LONG tradition here in Portland.  The idea for the Rose Festival was presented to the public in a speech by Mayor Harry Lane at the end of the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in 1905. The first festival followed in 1907, and what a history it has made.

It’s 2013, and we’re gearing up to celebrate 106 years of festivities.  The lineup for the parade is everything from traditional marching bands and flood-lit floats, to glow-in-the-dark umbrellas and hand-built entries. You’ll see the best of Portland’s diverse community groups from the surrounding Northwest region. And some exciting news? (At least for me!) I’m marching and dancing in the first quarter of the nearly 100 illuminated groups! 

If you’re headed to the parade this weekend, you won’t be disappointed–but there are a few things to keep in mind. Here’s my “ inside tips” for the Starlight Parade! The parade starts at 9:00 pm.  This is no parade for whimps!  You have to stay up late and tough out the elements on the cold, wet, and dark streets of downtown Portland.  We’re expecting 250,000 to line the 2.25 miles, so make sure you get your spot scoped out early.  Also: Bring layers!  And don’t forget your costume…there will be some serious costuming that you don’t want to miss out on. The starlight parade is where FUN HAPPENS.

Francene has over 30 years in the home mortgage business, and she loves being part of the Portland community. Connect with her on Facebook for Portland-centric updates and news or subscribe to her newsletter to receive monthly resources and tips just for locals. If you’re interested in homeownership or refinancing, contact her today to schedule a consultation and find out more about Portland mortgage options.

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Connecting in Community through Dance

Finding community.  The need to belong.  The common/shared interest. I love finding ways to connect here in Portland, and my recent association with dancing has given me yet another sense of community.  Not only amongst dancers, but to the community at large.  Last Saturday my previous association with the sponsor, White Bird, and their Le Grand Continental (a wonderful gift to our community) was brought back to life for an ever so brief repeat at Union Station for National Train Day

Our last rehearsal before National Train Day

Our last rehearsal before National Train Day

To prepare for that performance, rehearsals have filled my days. It was well worth the effort, looking back, but though that performance is complete the rehearsals haven’t finished. Many of us from Le Grand Continental are continuing to dance – dedicated to rehearsals 3 times a week – to prepare ourselves for the launch of the Portland Rose Festival with the Starlight Parade on June 1.  Known for being a ‘zanier” parade, we’re practicing our hearts out to make sure we’re ready. Of the 100 or so that committed to this, there are about 70 who have stayed the course.  Yet another community, and for many of us this will be our third performance together.  We shivered through another chilly and wet evening last night as we ran through the paces.  We may never look like these two professional dancers but we’re ready to bring fun and frivolity to the people of Portland 15 days from now. Will you be there?

Francene has over 30 years in the home mortgage business, and she loves being part of the Portland community. Connect with her on Facebook for Portland-centric updates and news or subscribe to her newsletter to receive monthly resources and tips just for locals. If you’re interested in homeownership or refinancing, contact her today to schedule a consultation and find out more about Portland mortgage options.