PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Thousands flocked downtown for Portland’s brightest night with the return of the CareOregon Starlight Parade. A century-long tradition, locals and visitors, alike, say rain or shine, this parade was a welcome return to downtown Portland.
A tradition since the 1900s starting with electric trolley cars, the Starlight Parade is now made up of around 100 entries of glowing floats, costumes and marching bands. The parade and Rose Festival were cancelled the past couple years because of the pandemic.
“We’ve been around 100 years so even just not having a few years was such a stark difference to what we’re used to,” said Starlight Parade Manager Dani Hammond.
Despite the rain, families said it’s a tradition they weren’t going to miss this year.
“The Portland rain, of course, during the Rose Festival, that’s how it normally is. You don’t get a lot of nice ones so it’s been fun to finally be back,” said Jarod Hansen, a longtime resident whose family comes each year.
Organizers said it’s a long-awaited return to see people back enjoying the Rose Festival and everything that comes with it.
“Seeing people back downtown, back on the waterfront, is so amazing and encouraging,” said Hammond. “We’re just really excited to bring the tradition back.”
From electrified beards to boats and everything in-between, it seems many were just as excited for this Portland tradition to return.
In addition to road closures along the parade route, the city also closed the ramps to the Hawthorne and Morrison bridges earlier Saturday evening through 10 p.m.
The Portland Police Bureau said there were more than 150 officers of varying ranks patrolling the parade route.