June 11, 2019

The Portland Rose Festival is an annual festival held during the month of June in Portland, Oregon.  Part of Portland’s popular culture for more than a century, the Rose Festival has its roots in tradition while its programming is both contemporary and nostalgic. Foresighted city leaders started the festival during the first decade of the 20th Century in order to put Portland on the map and brand it the ‘summer capital of the world.’ Little did they know that more than a hundred summers later the Rose Festival would be world famous for its amazing, award-winning events, as well as serving as a community leader for celebrating values like volunteerism, patriotism and environmentalism. In 2010, the Rose Festival was finally acknowledged as Portland’s Official Festival by proclamation of the Council.

The festival has three parades, a three-weekend urban fair packed with great entertainment and great food, and a Dragon Boat Festival right in downtown Portland on the waterfront.  



I was invited to race in this event with Mountain Home Canoe Club's mixed crew on Saturday and Sunday.  The boats we raced in were Taiwanese Dragon Boats.The first boats were donated to the city by their sister city in Kaohsiung Taiwan and ever since they have raced the Tawaianese style Dragon Boats which are wider and heavier than what most people are used to racing.  They also mandate use of larger wood dragon boat paddles.  It's a great community event with both club crews and corporate crews racing one another for a two day period.  

Thanks Mountain Home for the invite and my first experience at the Rose City Dragon Boat Festival.  Not too shabby - we took home the gold!

-Meg Chun


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