Float wins top award
Army takes Grand Marshal’s trophy in annual Portland event.
by KATIE DE MUTH –
The Salvation Army’s entry in Portland’s 99th Annual Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade was awarded the Grand Marshal’s award.
Beauty, pageantry, music, dancing, horses, flowers…and The Salvation Army! Recently, Portland’s 99th Annual Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade rolled through the streets as 500,000 people lined the curb and millions more watched on television. Amidst marching bands, prancing horses, twirling batons and cheering crowds, the Salvation Army float, dedicated to our military troops and their families, was presented with the Grand Marshal’s Award.
Shilo Inns Suites Hotels, long a supporter of the U.S. military, sponsored the float. The partnership of Shilo Inns and The Salvation Army was a natural fit, helping to draw attention to our Home Front War Relief, the program that helps families of deployed military.
This year’s float featured a giant golden eagle with wings spread wide. Huge floral arrangements perched on each corner of the float, with flowers draping the sides. Roses, bromeliads, and larkspur were featured prominently. On each side of the float, a large drum and trumpet represented the Army’s musical tradition. In accordance with the regulations of the Grand Floral Parade, every decorative item on the float was made from natural, organic products. Therefore, the famous Red Shield on the placard of the float was made of dyed, flaked coconut and the “wooden” drum was decorated with red lentils.
The float carried a representative of each branch of the U.S. military. Representing The Salvation Army were Major Bill Hathorn of the Gresham Corps; Captain Donna Marshall of the Moore Street Corps; and Salvationist Bill Leach, soldier of the Tualatin Valley Citadel.
As the float took its place in the parade, the crowd rose to its feet and cheered the military.