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2009 Rose Festival: Crowning the Queen Sunday, June 07, 2009

Grant High School junior Rachel Seeman is escorted from the Memorial Coliseum June 6, moments after being announced as the 2009 Queen of Rosaria.

I spent yesterday morning at Memorial Coliseum photographing the crowning of the 2009 Rose Festival Queen and the Grand Floral Parade. Actually, I was there to photograph the building, but that's what was happening there at the time. More on that later.

Portland's biggest parade starts in the coliseum, and continues from there to downtown. But before the parade gets underway, they have to announce the new queen, so there's a little ceremony (starting at 8:30 a.m.) where the princesses enter the arena, wave to the crowd, answer one question apiece and then await the announcement. It's pretty exciting for them.

Then the parade runs right through the arena before heading off on its route. People pay $15 or $25 apiece to see it in the coliseum, but that gets them a relatively comfortable reserved seat with a good view and the chance to see the parade in climate-controlled comfort, which is a smart idea given the cool drizzly weather that accompanies the "Rose Festival low" pressure system that invariably seems to arrive that weekend.

I didn't stay for the whole parade—too many other things to do yesterday—but it looked like a good show.