Union Spirit at the Portland Rose Festival

IBEW Local 48 members Susan Rodway (foreground) and Shawna Fuller (behind her) were among the five dozen union women who marched in the Grand Floral Parade dressed as the working woman’s icon Rosie the Riveter.
At the Starlight Parade, IBEW’s super-hero-themed entry included, from left, Taylor Johnson, Super Girl Heather Yeo, Bat Girl Stacey Sawyer, and Joe Ergle.

Rosie the Riveter has a lot of sisters. At the June 8 Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade, IBEW Local 48 entered a drill team consisting of 60 women members dressed as the working woman icon.

Local 48 also fielded about three dozen superheroes at the June 1 Starlight Parade. They marched carrying lit-up shields together with a band on a lit-up float and several dozen others wearing Local 48 garb.

This was the third year union superheroes appeared at the Starlight Parade, and the second year the Rosies marched in the Grand Floral. Parade coordinator Matt Smyth says the entries promote union visibility. The Rosies are also meant to encourage women to think about joining the union building trades.

The grand-daddy of union Rose Festival entrants is National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 82, which has been coming up with brightly lit and entertaining entries in the Starlight Parade since 1989.

National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 82 has been coming up with brightly lit and entertaining entries in the Starlight Parade since 1989. Hence the giant “30” on the 10’ tall letter carrier in this year’s march, signifying 30 years.

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