The UO and the Duck get on the summer parade bandwagon

The Duck at the Rose Festival parade

As summer arrives in Oregon, so does the parade and festival season.

The UO is building bridges, recruiting future students and highlighting the university’s presence in communities across the state by joining the fun at all sorts of summer events. In some cases participants can do more than just watch; UO friends, students, staff, faculty and alumni are invited to march in festival parades and volunteer at UO booths.

“By sponsoring and participating in these popular summer events, we hope to create good will and demonstrate we value the unique geography, history and culture of Oregon that shapes our identity and spirit,” said Matt Roberts, senior director of community relations.

The Portland Rose Festival was first organized to brand the city as “summer capital of the world.” More than 100 years later, the Grand Floral Parade on Saturday, June 9, will include the Duck, the Duck Truck, cheerleaders and an alumni band.

The parade start time is 10 a.m. The 4.2-mile route winds through city streets and across the Willamette River on the Burnside Bridge, adjacent to the UO Portland campus.

The Duck, UOAA Central Oregon Ducks and the Duck Store will participate in the Sisters Rodeo Parade, the highlight of Sisters Rodeo Weekend since 1940. Featuring a grand marshal, rodeo queens, classic cars, floats, musical groups, horses and more, the June 9 parade makes its way through historic downtown Sisters beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Cascade Avenue. The rodeo runs June 8-10.

The UO, recognized by BestColleges.com as the most LGBTQ-friendly college in Oregon and on the list of Campus Pride’s top 25 most LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities, is a sponsor of Pride Northwest in Portland, June 16-17. The UOAA Pride alumni group and Student Services and Enrollment Management will host a booth at the waterfront festival from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. Sunday in the North Park Blocks on West Burnside Avenue and ends at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. UO students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are welcome to participate by taking a volunteer shift at the booth. Register at Student Services and Enrollment Management’s sign-up link.

The UO is the presenting sponsor of the annual Good in the Hood multicultural music, arts and food festival taking place in northeast Portland June 22-24. Established in 1990, Good in the Hood is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a creative medium where Portland residents, businesses and organizations can share music, food, and resources and engage in experiences that strengthen and unify the community. The parade, which takes place Saturday, June 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is the largest community parade in the Northwest, will include the UO cheerleaders, the Duck and an alumni band.

The route starts at Legacy Emmanuel Center on the corner of North Williams and North Russell streets and ends at King School Park. UO students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are welcome to join the parade and volunteer at the UO booth. Register at Student Services and Enrollment Management’s sign-up link.

For the first time, the UO is sponsoring the Springfield Utility Board Light of Liberty Fourth of July celebration, from 4 to 10 p.m. at Island Park in Springfield, just up the Willamette River from the UO’s main campus. The event benefits Project Share, a fund that helps low-income Springfield residents with winter heating emergencies.  

The family-friendly event features live music and Kids Nation, where sponsors and vendors will have activities for kids up to age 12. Come out and visit UO’s Team Duckling, a group of UO researchers who will have engaging and educational activities for kids. Tickets are $5 in advance or $8 at the gate, and children 5 and under are free.

The UO is the official university sponsor of Fiesta Mexicana in Woodburn, which began in 1964 as a celebration of the end of the harvest season. The festival, which takes place Aug. 3, 4 and 5, will feature a parade, folkloric dances, salsa dancing, comedy acts, live performances, lucha libre and the crowning of the Fiesta Court in Legion Park.

The parade, which will include the Duck Truck, The Duck and an alumni band, begins at the Woodburn Aquatic Center at 11 a.m. Aug. 4 and ends at Legion Park. UO students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are welcome to take part in the parade and volunteer at the UO booth. Register at Student Services and Enrollment Management’s sign up link.

“These events really help build and strengthen bridges with Oregon communities,” said Roger Thompson, vice president for students services and enrollment management. “Not only that, but we’re able reach out to young students and their families to help illustrate how they can access higher education and its importance in positively affecting their futures.”