Beat the traffic, celebrate Portland Rose Festival with TriMet


Transit is the most convenient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to experience the annual festivities

TriMet bus in service during the Starlight Parade.

One of Portland’s biggest and most beloved annual celebrations kicks off this Friday, May 24.

During the Rose Festival, traveling to, from and around Portland City Center can be, well, thorny. Roads may be closed off for parades and other special events, parking is at a premium, and the traffic alone can make you wish you’d stayed home.

Thankfully, you can enjoy the Rose Festival with none of those driving worries. Leave your car at home, or at one of TriMet’s Park & Rides, and take transit!

What’s on tap?

The Portland Rose Festival celebrates the annual blooming of roses, Portland’s signature flower. You’ll see roses in red, white, pink, yellow, orange and more in late spring. With gorgeous weather, beautiful blooms and community celebrations, this is one of the best times of year to get out and explore Downtown Portland.

The official first day of the Rose Festival is Friday, May 24. That’s the kickoff with the big fireworks show over the Willamette River. It’s also when CityFair opens at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. This fair with classic carnival attractions and family fun runs on three consecutive weekends: May 24-27, May 31-June 2 and June 7-9.

This year, CityFair also features a Celebration of Oregon Brewers Festival, with a selection of beers on tap. Transit is always a great option if you’re knocking back some pints, or if you’re indulging in the Starry Night Wine Walk next Thursday, May 30. It’s the smart, safe and responsible way to get home. Please, never drink and drive.

When to go

One of the biggest days for travel in Downtown Portland is expected to be Saturday, June 1. That’s both the day of the Starlight Run, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and the CareOregon Starlight Parade, from 8-10 p.m.; and of a big game at Providence Park as the Portland Timbers host the Houston Dynamo, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. Skip the hassle and save on parking by taking TriMet! We’ll have extra MAX trains in service for riders’ convenience.

If you have a ticket for the Timbers game, that ticket serves as your fare on any TriMet bus or MAX. Just show your digital ticket to the bus operator or Customer Safety Supervisor. Match-day tickets for both the Timbers and Thorns are valid fare on TriMet from three hours before kickoff until three hours after the final whistle. Find more information at

Other major events that you won’t want to miss, and which you can enjoy by traveling with TriMet, include:

Please keep in mind that there may be short delays on TriMet during parades as our vehicles share the right-of-way.

Fleet Week is June 5-9 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park! U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy ships will be visiting. The Steel Bridge will be lifted Wednesday afternoon, June 5, for the arrival of Fleet Week ships. Remember, MAX and TriMet buses are unable to cross the Steel Bridge while it is lifted. Trains and buses will hold at nearby stops and stations. Plan for trips to take extra time June 5 and check before setting out.

TriMet riders at the Goose Hollow/SW Jefferson MAX Station.

Ways to ride

TriMet’s bus and MAX service, as well as Portland Streetcar, will provide regular service during the Rose Festival.

One fare is good for all three modes of transit, thanks to Hop Fastpass®. You can purchase 2½-Hour Fare for a one-way trip or a shorter outing, or a Day Pass to travel on TriMet and Portland Streetcar an unlimited number of times for the day.

Payment is simple, too. Riders can skip the ticket machine — our green Hop Fastpass® readers accept contactless payments with credit and debit cards as well as smartphones. Just tap to pay with your preferred payment method, check the screen for confirmation, and you’re good to go! Plus, you earn toward Day and Month passes whenever you tap. That means you’ll never pay more than $5.60 per day or $100 per month to ride TriMet. Learn more at

Updated display screens, including e-paper displays, show arrival times and destinations for all our lines that serve a particular stop or station.

You can also plan ahead by visiting Check out our Trip Planner, which shows you the best options for getting to your destination, including when you can expect to arrive. You can even customize your trip plan for how far you’re willing to walk and which modes of transit you want to use.

Questions? Contact TriMet Customer Service via live chat with a representative at, or call or text 503-238-7433, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. any day of the week.