Tag Archives: Rose Festival Parade

MPEV as parade staging area?


I used to say to my mother, “Mom, I was thinking …”

To which Mom would quip, “Oh, beginners luck?” Mom had a million of ’em.

Well, I was thinking the other day as Amarillo’s Electric Light Parade was tooling down some downtown streets: Wouldn’t the multipurpose event venue be a suitable location for the parade either to begin to end?

The MPEV development is moving forward. Critics of the venue keep insisting that there’s insufficient uses for the proposed building, that it wouldn’t be kept busy enough.

Well, the Electric Light Parade is just one event in which the MPEV could play a part. Yes, it’s just one night a year. But it symbolizes a number of one-nighters that could occur at the venue, given the right amount of creative marketing.

Back in the old days, when I was growing up in Portland, Ore., my parents would take my sisters and me to the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade. It’s a big event that clogs downtown Portland every June when the roses are in full bloom and the City of Roses celebrates the flowers for which Portland is famous.

We usually would find a spot to sit along the parade route.

But one year I remember Mom and Dad taking us to Memorial Coliseum, which once was a state-of-the-art athletic arena. It was built in 1960; its cost then was $8 million. It became home eventually to the Portland Trail Blazers professional basketball team.

It also used to be the starting point for the Grand Floral Parade.

Mom and Dad took us there one year to watch the parade take off. The marchers and the floats would exit the building, move across the Burnside Bridge that spanned the Willamette River and through downtown.

It served a marvelous purpose back then.

Why not use our very own venue for such a thing here?