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Parade Rehearsal? Sorta!

-Marilyn Clint, PRFF Associate Director

Time to look back at all the Rose Festival memories that swept by without the time to blog about them! One of those was our 'parade rehearsal' on Friday, June 11. How do you rehearse for the largest single-day special event in the Pacific Northwest, the KeyBank Grand Floral Parade?

Well, you don't. Not really.

But there are things you can prepare for, like TV shots and turning those tough corners as you go through the Rose Quarter area--in and out of Portland's Memorial Coliseum. Setup for the parade starts on Thursday, and it includes details like painting out the parking lines in the lot that serves as part of the parade route and patching the driveways so the floats can easily drive through. And, of course, the trucks from Mira Mobile, our production company, move in as well. Many people don't know the Rose Festival produces our own parade telecast, with the support of our partner, KGW NewsChannel 8.

Associate Producer Carolyn Kaleel goes over the script with Drew Carney, while hosts Tracy and Joe check out their 'dressing room'

The day before the parade, Chairman Sue Bunday called for our key committee people to meet on site where the TV production trucks, bleachers and rigging were already setting up.

Sue gives the Parade Committee members (Brett Baker in center) an orientation

We also invited as many entry representatives as we could, so the actual 'stars' of the show would have a chance to get the lay of the land. The Grand Floral Parade is a pretty complicated event, after all. We start on the south side of the Coliseum, then we enter the big south door and perform for the audience inside. Then, after making it through another big door (those doors were built for this exact purpose!), the line of march heads for our TV cameras and the reserved seats on the north side of the building.

All this before ever hitting the route!

The riggers wriggle up the scaffolds for the banners

We didn't have many entries show up this year, but the committee members got a good walk-thru with Sue. Next year she'll be the Rose Festival president, so she'll be riding in the parade as one of the VIPs! Her role as parade chair will be assumed by committee member Brett Baker, and he knows he has some big shoes to fill. Sue has been an amazing leader, and this year's great parade is certainly the proof!


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 13th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
It's so cool to see the geniuses behind the scenes of this amazing parade! Thanks to you all!
Jul. 14th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
Grand Floral Parade
Wasn't it great to have sunny beautiful weather for the parade? I was sure the rain would continue
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:37 am (UTC)
Re: Grand Floral Parade
Woohoo! It sure was.
Jul. 14th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
Interesting Information.
I didn't realize there was so much work involved in putting on a parade. I really think it's intersting to read the information you share in this blog; I've been telling my family about ir. Thanks for the insisghts and keep these coming in the future to. Even if I don't comment many times I'm still reading all the times.

Jul. 16th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
Re: Interesting Information.
Thanks, Mary, for taking the time to comment! We appreciate having you follow the blog.
Jul. 14th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
parade chair
All parade chairs should ride in the parade at least once. Now Mrs. Bunday will get to see what she hath wrought.
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:37 am (UTC)
Re: parade chair
Many parade chairs *do* get a chance to ride in the parade, because they eventually become the Rose Festival President. It's interesting to think that some of us who work on the parade every year will never have that chance. It's actually helped me a lot to ride in the pace car of the Starlight Parade and get an idea of how the crowds react.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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