Plus: Protect yourself during tick season.
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Rosy roots that run deep
A historic photo shows the parade procession during the Portland Rose Festival circa 1908.
Festival organizers would often erect grandstands to help more people get a better view. | Photo courtesy of Portland City Archives
Wake up and smell the roses, Portland — the city’s biggest festival of the year is almost here. The Portland Rose Festival bursts into bloom on Friday, May 24 — ushering in parades, fireworks, and century-old traditions to the City of Roses.

Perhaps you’ve already caught a whiff of the city’s rose garden history, but that story is intertwined with the festival named for the fairest of flowers. Let’s jump back in time to the turn of the 20th century.

During a speech at the Lewis and Clark Exposition in 1905, Portland Mayor Harry Lane said that the city should have an annual “festival of roses.” The idea germinated and came to fruition in 1907 with the inaugural Rose Festival. That year’s parade was a marvelous hit because it featured illuminated floats pulled by an electric trolley system at a time when electricity was still a novelty for most people.

The Portland Rose Festival "King Rex" walks in all the royal regalia as men in suits and hats watch on.

“King Rex” arrives on the scene during the 1912 edition of the Portland Rose Festival.


Photo courtesy of Portland City Archives

Pageantry dates back to that first festival, too, when Carrie Lee Chamberlain, the daughter of Oregon’s then-governor, was crowned queen. Portland even crowned some kings in the early years (one of whom rode an elephant in the parade) before permanently bending the knee for a queen in 1914.

Other events from the early days of the Rose Festival have also gone to seed, like the chariot and harness races of 1909. But many of the original traditions remain: the electric parade is now the Starlight Parade, the Grand Floral Parade is still the signature event, and local queens still reign — but now they hail from local high schools.

In its long history, the Rose Festival has only been canceled a few times over war worries, construction conflicts, and most recently, COVID-19.
What is your favorite part of the Rose Festival?

A. The parades
B. CityFair
C. Dragon boat races
D. Crowning the Rose Festival Queen
E. Other
Tuesday, May 14
  • Piano Bar with Courtney Freed and David Saffert | Tuesday, May 14 | 7-9 p.m. | Portland Center Stage, 128 NW 11th Ave., Portland | Free | Sing your favorite tune open-mic style (bring sheet music) or sit back and enjoy the talent and a delightful glass of wine with friends.
  • Kimberly King Parsons in Conversation With Chelsea Bieker | Tuesday, May 14 | 7 p.m. | Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside St., Portland | Free | Hear about the Portland author’s debut novel, “We Were the Universe,” about a young mother trudging through life while fantasizing about the past and potential.
  • “Annie” | Tuesday, May 14-Sunday, May 19 | Times vary | Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., Portland | $34.75+ | Tomorrow may always be a day away, but this heartwarming musical classic is here today.
Wednesday, May 15
  • Free Trivia Wednesdays | Wednesday, May 15 | 7-9 p.m. | Oakshire Beer Hall, 5013 NE 42nd Ave., Portland | Free | Start your week with four rounds of trivia (topics are announced on social media) with prizes awarded to the top three teams.
  • Zainab Johnson | Wednesday, May 15 | 7:15 p.m. | Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE Ninth Ave., Portland | $27-$37 | Having grown up in Harlem with 13 siblings in a Black Muslim family, this stand-up comic brings a unique point-of-view to the stage.
Thursday, May 16
  • Live Music Thursdays! | Thursday, May 16 | 5-8 p.m. | Amaterra Winery, 8150 SW Swede Hill Dr., Portland | $25 | Head to the top of the hills for an incredible view, delicious wine and food, and live jazz.
  • Pints & Palettes: Watercolor Workshop | Thursday, May 16 | 6-8 p.m. | Portland Cider House, 3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland | $35 | Whet your appetite for creative expression and wet your whistle with a craft cider.
  • Paul Giamatti’s “CHINWAG” | Thursday, May 16 | 8 p.m. | Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St., Ste. 110, Portland | $25-$35 | Attend a live recording of the podcast that pairs the Academy Award-winning actor with professor of philosophy Stephen Asma.
Click here to have your event featured.
Discover a treatment that could help medication-resistant depression
a man and a woman stand against a railing
Nearly 18% of US adults live with depression, but identifying the right treatment can make a big difference. | Photo provided by Active Path
When antidepressants, lifestyle changes, and therapy stop working, what other options are available for those with severe depression? For some, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can be life-changing.

Join Active Path Mental Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pritham Raj, for a free virtual info session on Wednesday, May 29, 12:30-1 p.m., to learn what TMS therapy could do for you or a loved one. Dr. Raj will share an overview of the groundbreaking treatment and answer questions.
News Notes
  • Portland rapper Aminé is bringing “The Best Day Ever Fest” to his city. The inaugural music event will take place Aug. 10-11 on the lawn at Edgefield. Ticket pre-sale and lineup information can be found on Instagram. (KOIN)
  • Above Grnd is making history in Portland as the first Somali-owned coffee shop, and 22-year-old co-owner Ahlam Osman wants the Old Town business to be an uplifting, family-friendly space. Find it on the mezzanine above Bridge City Soles (419 NW Broadway).
Try This
  • On the new Immersive Art & Wine Tour, guests can experience the interactive exhibits at Hopscotch before jumping over to Dundee for lunch at Wooden Heart. The experience ends with a tasting at Artist Block, where the wine is made by Oregon’s only female Master of Wine, Bree Stock. (Eater Portland)
  • Honk honk. That’s the sound of Daimler Truck North America announcing its plans for a $40 million, 110,000-sqft expansion to its Swan Island engineering facility. The company also intends to create a $3 million “electric vehicle supply equipment” training center. (Portland Business Journal)
Feel Good
  • What do the Trail Blazers do with the No. 7 and No. 14 pick in this year’s NBA Draft? Your guess is as good as ours, but Mike Richman of Locked On Blazers has some theories.
    Must be the season of the ticks
    A person wearing hiking gear walks uphill through tall green grass.
    Perform daily checks after spending time outside and take a shower to remove ticks before they attach. | Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday
    Exploring the great outdoors has many wonderful benefits, but one thing we can all agree isn’t one of them? Ticks.

    The tiny arthropods are found all over the world. A handful of species bite and feed on the blood of people and pets, transmitting bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can lead to various illnesses like Lyme disease. Here in the Pacific Northwest, they’re most active in spring and early summer.

    How to protect yourself and your pets

    Ticks hang out in tall grass, brush, and wooded areas, so sticking to marked trails is key. Protect your skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, close-toed shoes, and tucking pants into socks. You can also use repellent. Light-colored clothing makes it easier to spot a tick.

    For pets, flea-and-tick treatments, shampoos, and special combs are available. Ask your veterinarian which is best for your animal and take time to thoroughly check your pet’s fur after an outing.

    Even if you’re careful, a tick may still find a way to hitch a ride and get a meal. You’ll need to carefully follow a set of steps to remove it.
    The Buy
    Clinique’s Take The Day Off cleansing balm makeup remover. This balm’s silky, buttery formula dissolves long-wearing makeup and sunscreens — and it’s one of the brand’s best sellers.
    Which Portland school did Bill Naito attend?
    A stately red brick college building looks out over a grassy green lawn.

    Bill Naito was elected to the Reed board of trustees in 1974.


    Photo by Another Believer

    Looks like it’s time to study up on this historic Portland figure — only 28% of readers correctly guessed that Bill Naito went to Reed College for his undergraduate degree.
    The Wrap
    ben-mcbee-headshot-2024.png Today’s edition by:
    From the editor
    Say cheese! The Portland Timbers have made Tillamook their replacement shirt sponsor.

    Fans (myself included) are likely more excited about this partnership with the local creamery than the team’s on-field performance when the sunny weekend was spoiled by a home loss to the Seattle Sounders. But how ‘bout them Thorns?
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