PORTLAND, Oregon—The Portland Starlight Parade started at the beginning of the last century, when it was called an electric parade. Shining with brilliant points of recently invented electrical light, the event was described as the most lavish spectacle of its kind on the continent.
Portland was one of the first cities in the world to have an electric streetcar system. More than a century later, the Starlight Parade, part of the Rose Festival, remains one of the city’s most long-lived favorites.
After eighteen days of rain, the morning of June 5 dawned with clear skies. By the end of the day, more than 250,000 spectators filled the streets of downtown Portland for the event.
The unique feature of 2010 parade was hand-built entries that glowed in the dark and lit up the streets of Portland, known as the “City of Roses.”
More than 120 entries in the 2010 Starlight Parade represented community groups from Portland as well as the surrounding region. They included marching bands, sparkling floats, and more.
The Sweepstakes Best Illumination Award in a float category went to the Oregon Falun Dafa Association. Judges called it “larger than life.” The illuminated boat traveled under a luminous, gold fabric sail and held four lotus petal islands of rose, pink, and magenta with heavenly maidens on each of them. It was enthusiastically greeted by onlookers.
The Starlight Parade was televised live on KGW, an NBC affiliate serving Portland.
With additional reporting by Lloydine Arguelles