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The Grand Floral Parade is the centerpiece of the Rose Festival and the second largest all-floral parade in the United States after the Tournament of Roses Parade. More than 500,000 spectators line the route, making this flower parade the largest single-day spectator event in Oregon. The first parade, in 1907, was called the Rose Carnival, but eventually came to be known as the Rose Festival Parade and later still the Grand Floral Parade. The 1907 festival also included an "electric parade" with illuminated floats; this evolved into the Merrykhana Parade but after a two-season suspension was renamed the Starlight Parade in 1976. Since 1930 a Queen has been selected from a court of high school seniors from each school in the area. The members of the court are called princesses. For a brief period starting in 1997 they were officially called "ambassadors" but the term "princesses" was reinstated in January 2007. The idea for the Rose Festival was presented to the public in a speech by Mayor Harry Lane at the end of the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in 1905. The first festival occurred in 1907.


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Taken on June 9, 2012