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ani, glitter

We Were Winners in the 1951 Junior Rose Festival Parade

Fifty-six years ago my friend Carol Panzer Cranmer and I won a FIRST PRIZE in the Junior Rose Festival Parade!

We've talked about the parade contest as one of the best memories in our sixty-two year friendship. As the story goes, we'd been in a couple of junior parades with our Brownie troop, and now were ready for our own entry.

The festival theme that year was "Do You Remember?"

Remember what? The old days? To us, even our parents seemed old! What could be remembered at our age? We were only ten years old. It was hard to think of something, so we decided to do some research about the various parade categories.

We discovered that Sylvia's Italian Restaurant was giving a doll to the First Place winner of the 'baby buggy' contest -- and we wanted that doll! Now we just needed an old buggy...

In Carol's attic was a wicker baby buggy that had been her Father's. It was old and just perfect for the theme. With the help of our parents, we gathered the right costumes. I was the tallest, so I dressed in a formal morning coat worn in Germany by Carol's Great-Grandfather, August Sladek. Carol wore the long, yellow lace dress her mother had worn as Princess Marceline Larson in the Vancouver, Washington Regatta Parade of 1933.

Next we sought flowers for decoration. We were delighted when business friends of O.E. Panzer Florist donated 300 red American Beauty roses! At last our entry was exactly right -- and we both remember taking turns carrying the blue ribbon the length of the parade.

Carol and Nancy and their winning entry - 1951 Junior Parade

I was proud of what we'd achieved. We even got to meet Sylvia herself when we picked up the doll.

Although it was fifty-six years ago, I still think about that Junior Rose Festival Parade. Recently I viewed some old colored slides of other Junior Parades and Grand Floral Parades. These slides were taken 60-66 years ago. The pictures show the floats and bands, but more importantly they show my family and friends sitting on the curb watching the parade.

Nancy's scrapbook shows the winning ribbon and a photo from the Junior Parade

On these same curbs my husband and I sat with our children to watch the parade. And perhaps this year we'll be there once again with our grandsons.

Nancy and Carol in 2001

My friend Carol doesn't live in Oregon now and hasn't been to a Rose Festival parade in many years. But 56 years later the two of us are still friends -- and are still laughing about how much fun we had on our day in the Junior Parade!

~Nancy Hoover