June 11 Grand Floral Parade will have Tribal flair

Grand Ronde Tribal members will not have to wait long for the Spirit Mountain Casino float to go by during the newly christened Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade on Saturday, June 11, in downtown Portland.

According to the parade's lineup, the casino's float will be eighth in line, between the Stylez Drill & Drum Squad from Seattle and the South Kitsap High School Marching Band from Port Orchard, Wash.

The theme of this year's parade is "Carnival of Roses" and Tribal Elder and Tribal Council member Steve Bobb Sr. has once again designed the casino's float entry, incorporating the theme with Native elements.

Grand marshal of this year's Grand Floral Parade is the Oregon Ducks football team, which finished No. 2 last year behind Auburn in the national rankings.

Earlier this year, Spirit Mountain Casino signed on as sponsor of the Grand Floral Parade after KeyBank declined to continue in that role. Casino spokesman Greg Fritz said the casino committed to a six-figure, three-year deal as parade sponsor.

"The Tribe has ancestral ties to Portland," Fritz said. "The Tribal board felt this was an important event that deserved support."

The parade is seen by tens of thousands in person and on television worldwide since it is one of the longest-running floral parades in the world.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. at Memorial Coliseum, heads south on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and then winds its way across the Willamette River via the Burnside Bridge and into downtown Portland. For Tribal members who cannot attend the live event, it will be shown on KGW-TV (Channel 8) and on Northwest Cable News.

On Friday, June 10, Tribal Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy, Bobb and Spirit Mountain Casino Chief Executive Officer Rodney Ferguson will be knighted by the Royal Rosarians.

In addition, Tribal Royalty Nakoosa Moreland, Iyana Holmes and Makenzie Aaron will be riding in a classic car during the Starlight Parade, which starts at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 4, in downtown Portland.