Locals camp outside in anticipation for the Rose Festival's Gran - KPTV - FOX 12

Locals camp outside in anticipation for the Rose Festival's Grand Floral Parade

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Dozens of dedicated families camped out in the rain Friday night, securing the perfect spot for Saturday’s Grand Floral Parade.

Event organizers said hundreds of thousands of people are expected to show up for the 4-mile parade, but on the eve of the event, steadfast spectators were setting up tents and tarps, marking their territory while trying to stay dry.

“I'm the spot watcher!” Nora Bowcutt, camping out on a stretch of cement along Martin Luther King Boulevard in northeast Portland said. The slick sidewalks along the parade route are prime real estate for Portland’s beloved parade.

“It’s just what we do, we’re Oregonians,” Tammie Anderson said while setting up her tent in the rain.

Sleeping on the sidewalk for a night is a deep-rooted tradition for many Portlanders, including Craig McMillen.

“We are camping out to save our spot for the parade,” McMillen said.

The family played games and stayed warm under their tent, decorated with red roses.

“I got drawn into this through marriage. Coming here for more than 30 years. We’ve got Yahtzee and Jenga and doughnuts! Just family sitting around and having fun,” McMillen said.

As for the rain.

“It kind of adds to the fun actually,” McMillen said.

“We don’t miss not one parade, sun, sleet or snow,” Anderson said.

Passing on the beloved tradition of camping out, rain or shine.

Many families agree, although Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, this is their favorite time of the year in the city of roses.

“Sharing time together with family and seeing the kids’ excitement, celebrating Portland,” McMillen said.

Parade organizers said indoor seating at the Memorial Coliseum is still available.

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