For You A Rose In Portland Grows
The Centennial year of the Portland Rose Festival has been a chance to look back at how the celebration and the city have changed over time. Billboards, magazines, films and newspapers have featured views of the festival in its many incarnations. As the following pictures show, sometimes it is what is around the edges of a picture that tell a lot about a time and place.
Sailors from one of the Rose Festival fleet ships, march across the
Click on photos to expand.
The same view, 46 years later. Most of the buildings still existent in the first picture are blocked by newer construction, but the Pacific Building (to the far right in the first picture) can be seen reflected on the glass wall of a much younger neighbor.
A close-up shows a cluster of buildings from
The 7-Up billboard was a long time feature on the west bank of the
Another view from the 1961 Rose Festival shows the Olds and King department store’s float in honor of the Air Force Academy. Olds and King (formerly Olds, Wortman & King) had been located at the corner of Tenth and Morrison (today the
South from the
Scenes from the 1961 Rose Parade at SW Thirteenth and
SW Thirteenth and
Queen Patricia Bentley and Prime Minister Craig Evans pass the
Sun 'n' fun, rolling dice! The Los Vegas float and a food vendor, 1961.
The floats of 1970 were larger and more extravagant than their predecessors a decade earlier. Toyota makes a pre-energy crisis appearance, very much as a Japanese company. The Confederate
The truly impressive
What is also interesting, in light of recent headlines, is what does not appear in the picture- there is no duct tape! In fact, in the over 40 pictures I purchased from Really Good Stuff, from the years 1955, 1961, 1970 and 1972, there is no sign of duct taped pavement to mark seat claims.
This begs the question (a few actually).
When did duct-taping start? When was that fateful moment the first homesteader marked a claim? And where? And once it happened, how long did it take to spread? Which Rose Festival parade was the last one without duct-tape?
In this picture from the 1955 Rose Festival parade, Smokey the Bear implores all to Keep
Portland Mayor Frank L. Peterson and former President Harry S. Truman ride in an open car in the 1955 Rose Festival Parade.
The Centennial year of the Rose Festival focuses on nostalgia, but early festival parades looked forward. There were at least two “Electric Parades” with the floats riding on streetcar trucks, the height of early twentieth century technology. Then in 1913, the parade was billed as the Automobile Parade, heralding a new age. The two brochures above, from 1912 and 1913 reflect the shift.