Starlight Parade


(Image via Rose Festival)

Savanah Amaya, Writer

Portland is known for hosting many fun and exciting events downtown, from markets to fairs. In the upcoming months, Portland is celebrating the Starlight Parade for more than 40 years in Portland. According to Rose Festival, it is being celebrated on May 30, 2020. It is located in downtown Portland and will be from 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The parade has around 100 illuminated entries and draws more than 325,000 spectators to downtown Portland along the 2.25-mile route.

 According to PDX PIPELINE, The Starlight Parade has been a longtime festival tradition since the early 1900s, when illuminated floats built on electric trolley cars made their way through the city on trolley tracks. It has traditional marching bands and flood-lit floats, to glow in the dark and hand-built entries. According to The Oregon Encyclopedia, parades were a long-lived festival favorite in Portland. The electric parade eventually evolved into the Merrykhana Parade, known for its humorous entries and occasional rowdiness, but in 1973 it turned into a street brawl and was discontinued until 1976 when it was renamed the Starlight Parade. Since then it has been bringing together Portland’s diverse community groups and different types of people.

The festival will have a variety of music including alternative, classical and country. According to Festivalnet, the Starlight Parade will also be aired live on Fox 12 from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

The route of the parade starts at Northwest Burnside and 9th Avenue. According to KGW8, the route takes a right turn on 4th Avenue, then heads north on Broadway before taking a left on Washington. Then it follows 12th Avenue on Taylor Street before it ends at Lincoln High School. A map of the parade’s route can be found at

The parade’s opening act is called The Starlight Run, which according to the official Portland festival website is the 42nd Annual Starlight Run this year. It starts at 7 p.m. on Morrison Street near Naito Parkway then goes north to SW Harvey Milk Street and joins the Starlight Parade route at 4th Avenue. The runners follow the parade up to 14th Avenue then loop around Lincoln Highschool and race down to Burnside, to 4th Avenue until back at Naito Parkway. The runners get a medal and enjoy free access to CityFair following the race. Registration can be found at Everyone who registers for the run receives a coupon for a meal at a local area Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant. The parade also has a costume event being held at 5:45 p.m. The theme of the festival is the 2020 Rose Vision.
The application to apply to participate in the 2020 Starlight Parade was at deadline to submit applications was Friday, March 13, 2020, along with the fee. Participating in the parade not only gets you involved with the community but also introduces you to many new things and people.