Thank you US Navy for not frivolously spending my tax dollars

I just heard on the local news that only one US Navy ship will be docking in Portland as part of Rose Festival Fleet Week. The decision was made that Seattle, Portland and San Francisco will each only have one ship arrive for their respective Fleet Weeks. This is to save money on the time needed to travel to each port. There will still be several US Coast Guard ships arriving in the next couple of days. But my guess is that they have far less travel time to get to Portland.

I posted earlier about how great it is that the Waterfront VIllage opened a week early and business was booming bringing much needed $s to Portland. But on a more global persepctive I am glad to see that the US Navy is cost conscience. What a huge change from pre 911 and even the last few years. A real sign the the weak economy is hitting all aspects of US lives.

The USS Charleston was the first ship to visit the Portland Rose Festival in 1907 and the navy’s annual Rose Festival Fleet Week visitation has been an annual tradition for nearly 80 years.

On a side note it is now almost two weeks now since Rose Festival began and there has only been a trace of rain last night or this morning depending on where in the area you were.

Can it really be that time of year already? – Portland Rose Festival

I spotted the first sign of the Portland Rose Festival Friday driving to and from work across the Morrison Bridge. On the way into work I saw what I thought may have been some machinery for the bridge and ramp work taking place on the Morrison Bridge. But on my way out of town I clearly saw that it was a ferris wheel. I thought that it was odd to see that the Rose Festival’s Waterfront Village was beginning to appear much earlier than normal.

So I checked the Portland Rose Festival website and looked a the calendar of events.

“The Waterfront Village – Portland’s Place to Play

Recently recognized by the International Festival & Events Association (IFEA) for having the ‘Best Children’s Programming’ in the world, the Rose Festival’s Waterfront Village is the region’s premier family celebration. Celebrating 102 years as our City’s signature event, the Portland Rose Festival brings international attention to Portland each June, and the Waterfront Village is the Rose Festival’s largest community event.

For the first time ever, our village opens on Memorial Day weekend. This new three-weekend format offers a whole extra weekend of fun.”

I guess the thought is that adding almost a week to the event can’t help but to bring more visitors to the city = more tourist $s spent. There are so many different things to do and see during Rose Festival. There is the Starlight Run where people dress up in crazy costumes for a 3 mile run through the city. The Starlight Parade which has been an illuminated parade since 1907. The Dragon Boat races with about 100 teams from all over the country and world competing. I can usually see the crews practicing when I drive over the bridge in the early morning hours. The US and Canadian Navy and Coast Guard ships that come into port with many of the ships open for tours. The big finale is of course the Grand Floral Parade.

The only thing negative that I have to say about the Portland Rose Festival is for me personally it screws up my commute and driving around downtown. I work only four blocks West of the waterfront where the Waterfront Village is set up. There are so many more people driving in that part of town who don’t have a clue where they are going as well as the pedestrians who don’t seem to understand the walk don’t walk signs. It can be nerve wracking some days trying to get out of downtown! The good news is that since 911 there have been far fewer ships coming into port so my commute across the Morrison Bridge isn’t affected by bridge openings for the arrivals and departures of the ships. Or at least that has been true for the last 7 years.

The only other negative thing I have to say is that the Waterfront Village carnival brings out there strangest trashiest people that I never see the rest of the year. I never can figure where they  come from but they tend to move toward  the area where my office building is located sandwiched between the bus and lite-rail malls.

I hope that this year’s Portland Rose Festival is a huge success and brings a lot of much needed money to the area’s locally owned businesses.