Battle Ground float wins Rose Festival honors

Community’s entry wins Rose Society Award at Grand Floral Parade

By Andrea Damewood, Columbian staff writer

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Rose parade

In a parade that’s all about the flowers and the marching bands, Clark County entries took home some high awards Saturday.

Grand Floral Parade judges handed the Battle Ground Community Rose Float the Rose Society Award for best use of roses, while Vancouver’s Evergreen High School won the Band Sweepstakes Award or best band in the parade.

This year’s theme was “Carnival of Roses,” and the parade included 17 floats and 17 bands. Battle Ground’s “Masquerade of Roses” float featured a jester’s head, masks and other Mardi-Gras themed features.

Battle Ground’s award reflects the festival’s long history, Portland Rose Festival Foundation spokesman Rich Jarvis said. The Portland Rose Society is the oldest and largest such organization in the country, founded in 1889.

The festival started because the society made roses very popular and the rose garden parties were the social thing to do, Jarvis said, before they decided to kick it up a notch and do a full-fledged carnival in 1907.

Battle Ground’s float takes 250 to 300 volunteers to complete each year.

Other Clark County winners:

Marching Band Out-of-State Division A (99 Members or Less); Heritage High School, Vancouver, First Place; Battle Ground High School, Second Place; Prairie High School, Battle Ground, Third Place.

Out of State Open (100 or more); Columbia River High School, Vancouver, Second Place.

Caption Awards (for band support); Parent Support and Out Walkers to Columbia River High School, Vancouver; Cheerleading, Prairie High School, Battle Ground.

The parade was sponsored by Spirit Mountain Casino.