Rose Festival Stories (rose_festival) wrote,
Rose Festival Stories

She and Her Family Have Been Involved in Many Parts of Rose Festival

I was born and raised in Portland, so the Rose Festival has always been a part of my life -- and later a part of the life of my family, too.

Like so many others, we had our favorite spot on Grand Avenue each year for viewing the Grand Floral Parade. We lived on the East side, and would usually walk down to our spot. After the parade, my two cousins and I would go home and set up wagons, bicycles, tricycles, draping them with blankets, flowers and any other decoration we could muster. Then we'd ride parade-style around the block, waving our best elbow-elbow-wrist-wrist waves!

In 1948 when I was eight years old, I was selected to represent Buckman Elementary as their candidate for Junior Princess. Our family didn't have much money, but I remember my auntie buying me the most beautiful ruffled party dress I ever owned!

I was quite shy in those days, and I was so surprised that the little girl who won wore a very ordinary blue dress! I learned then it was about personality -- and not about ruffles!

When I was a young mother, my children would participate in the Junior Parade. One year my daughter rode a float, while my four-year-old son dressed in his clown outfit from Halloween and pulled a homemade 'cage' behind his decorated big wheel that housed a teddy bear. It had a sign that read, 'Dear Mom and Dad -- I've left home and joined the circus.' He won an honorable mention -- and his Dad had sunburned 'grid' marks on his feet as his reward for walking alongside him.

Later in 1985, my youngest daughter was in the final ten for our district for Junior Princess -- a wonderful experience for her.

Now we find a spot downtown and take our grandchildren to view the Grand Floral Parade -- and still enjoy it as much as ever!

We're looking forward to this 100th anniversary and are so proud that the
tradition continues.

~Dona Jennison (Clackamas, Oregon)
Tags: grand floral parade, junior court, junior parade
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