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Enveloped in a sea of Egyptian décor, Buster Rogers looks right at home with his banjo. A longtime member of the Woodland String Band, a division of the Philadelphia Mummers, Rogers and his fellow bandmates are part of a long tradition of mummery. The organization has been entertaining crowds with its musicianship and vivid costumes at the annual Mummers Parade in Philadelphia for over a century.

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Joelle Goodwin won the Mrs. Oregon Pageant at the Broadway Rose Theatre in Tigard last February. Goodwin, a mother of one and the first African American to win the Mrs. Oregon crown, is a major in the US Army, teaches ROTC at the University of Oregon, and has participated in the Mrs. Oregon Pageant twice previously. “I guess third time’s the charm,” she said of her recent win.

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Emma Pellett, a junior and anthropology major at Portland State University, won the Miss Earth Oregon Pageant this winter. “This pageant promotes sustainability, and I love to recycle,” said Pellett. Ms. Pellett will be the face of Oregon for the next twelve months—participating in public events, advocating for eco-friendliness, and inspiring all (especially those in college) to engage in the already pervasive green culture in Portland.

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Emma Wattez (right), a sophomore at Prairie High School in Battle Ground, Washington, loves battle reenactments. Nontraditional, perhaps—but Wattez’s involvement with the Northwest Civil War Council has inspired others to join. “I first got interested in reenacting after watching the movie Glory,” says Wattez. She also participates in Prairie’s ROTC program, where she learns real-life battle skills—something that may give her an edge over the Confederates on the battlefield. Pictured left is Honest Abe (known as Alan Edwards to his computer colleagues), a web programmer at Intel.

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The Salvation Army continued its long tradition of floating in the floral parade. The organization’s theme this year was Honoring the Heroes of Our Community and featured personnel from all branches of the armed services—including a woman who’d served in the Marines during World War II.

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The Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association has participated in the floral parade since 1989. The organization, which promotes "people to people" exchanges of cultural and artistic activities, has won top-float honors on more than one occasion with its elaborate designs.

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Flutist Dev Sinha is a member of Tigard High School’s marching band. The band, with its bright horn-bleats and smashing drums, has consistently placed first or second in the Northwest Marching Band Competition over the last ten years.

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Si Baron (left), looking resplendent in her sequined “Baton Twirler” minidress, is devoid of negative energy. “I love it here!” she cried. A Reynolds High School music teacher, Baron has been participating in post-high-school twirling for sixteen years. “I first saw them [baton twirlers] at a Portland State football game,” says Baron. “I thought: ‘I can do that!’”

Samantha Schuh, a freshman at Tualatin High School, is a rookie on the school’s dance troupe. But she’s got a bright future: the troupe took fourth place at the Oregon State Championships.

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Nothing’s too wacky at the Floral Parade—including a giant "Cub" (courtesy of the Boy Scouts of America) and a veggie-inspired "floral" bouquet from Fred Meyer.

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The City of Battle Ground took home the President’s Award this year (and last year) at the Grand Floral Parade. The Gingerbread Man obviously stole the judges’ hearts—though he quickly scooted past … hungry eyes can spell trouble.

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The Vietnamese Community of Oregon came together this year to produce one of the more elaborate floats (left), and Reser’s Fine Foods of Beaverton came away with the Sweepstakes Award for its genuflecting Beast float—a real live Beauty kept watch over the hairy giant as the Parade ambled past.

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Here’s to 150 more, Oregon.

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