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April 26th, 2007

ani, glitter

Marching in Rose Festival Parades

I first appeared as part of the Rose Festival in the 7th and 8th grades (in 1976 and '77) as a member of the Harold Oliver Middle School Marching Band in the Junior Parade. It rained the first year, but was sunny the second!

Then I marched in the Grand Floral Parades with the Centennial Awesome Eagle Showband from 1978 to 1981. After that, I watched my younger sister from the sidelines as she marched with Centennial in 1982 and '83.

I missed it so much that when an opportunity came to join the bran new One More Time Around Again Marching Band in 1985 I jumped at the chance!

I've appeared in every Rose Festival since then! I've learned the difference between the Starlight Parade and the Grand Floral Parades -- and believe me, they are different! I've been misted on, sprinkled on, RAINED on -- and have also enjoyed beautiful skies and sunshine. (Much more sunshine than rain, thank goodness!)

I've waved at the same families -- sitting in the same places -- year after year. I always smile when I hear somebody say, "Play 'Louie, Louie' again!" I'll enjoy playing that song as long as there are requests, that's for sure!

I plan on being in many, many more Rose Festivals -- for as long as possible. And someday I just might have somebody push me along as I play my flute and blow my bubbles!

~Gail Kiely
ani, glitter

Serving as Junior Princess in 1965 Was a Highlight of Her Life

My parents always took us to the parade. I was four years old -- and since Oregon was celebrating the bi-centenial -- I was dressed up in a "Little House on the Prairie" style outfit. A clown came by and took me by the hand and we went skipping up the street with the rest of the parade before he returned me to my parents.

The Rose Festival was always a fun-filled time of the year for me, but became even more so when I was selected as the Junior Princess from District 8 in 1965. That's still one of the highlights of my life!

It was so much fun and such an honor. I only wish that young girls still had the same opportunity I did.

~Diane (Pletka) Schendel
ani, glitter

Haven't Missed a Year -- Parades are a Family Tradition

Twenty-six years ago we brought our two and a half month old to her first Starlight Parade -- and then the next week to the Grand Floral Parade. Looking back, I think we should have used a moving van to transport all the baby things we 'needed' for our baby at the parade! We had the porta-crib (which was much bigger than they are today), two diaper bags for all contingencies, a large bag for the blankets she would need, lotions so she wouldn't get burned, an umbrella to put over her for sun or rain, plus two cameras and a video camera (also much bigger than they are today), so we could collect all of the memories.

We continued to bring our daughter Dara to the parades -- then nine years later brought her sister Abbie to her first parades as well.

We haven't missed a year!

We have marvelous pictures of our girls growing up at the Rose Festival parades. These include friends, boyfriends, Abbie leading her high school band and the progression of our family tree through the lens of the Rose Festival!

This year we're completing a chapter of our family -- and starting a new one.

Drum Major Abbie
Drum Major Abbie

Our youngest Abbie will be graduating from high school, and this will be her last Rose Festival parade as the Drum Major for the Hillsboro high school band.

Six-month-old Sydney
Six-month-old Sydney

We'll start a new chapter when we add one more place for our first granddaughter, Sydney, as she gets to experience her first Rose Festival set of parades! She'll be six months old -- and I fear that once again we may need a moving van to get all of her necessary things to the parade.

So we began again...

~Carolyn Ortman