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Rose-planting ceremony honors Maryfest President

 Jeri Welch, president of Maryfest, poses with the rose planted in her honor at the 2013 Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 15. - Lauren Salcedo
Jeri Welch, president of Maryfest, poses with the rose planted in her honor at the 2013 Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 15.
— image credit: Lauren Salcedo

MARYSVILLE — A sunny sky and slight breeze was the perfect weather for spending time in the garden on Saturday, June 15, especially during the Strawberry Festival's annual rose-planting ceremony at Totem Middle School.

Jeri Welch, president of Maryfest, was honored with a Portland Royal Rosarian rose called 'Pop the Cork' — the 2013 Portland Rose Festival signature rose — an aptly-named plant, with color reminiscent of champagne on a celebratory evening.

The Portland Royal Rosarians visited the festival to conduct the ceremony, which included the planting, watering and blessing.

It was a busy day for other Strawberry Festival events nearby, including the Market in the Park and the Funtastic Carnival, which took place simultaneously. The rose was planted before the Grand Parade made its way down State Avenue, so spectators could enjoy the garden as they waited for the big event to begin.

Welch, who has been involved with the Maryfest organization since 2001, said she was honored to be chosen as the recipient of the 2013 rose.

"The Prime Minister of the Royal Rosarians sent us a letter saying they would be planting a rose for us back in January," she said. "It's a huge honor for them to do this for me. It's a beautiful rose."

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