Clowning around: Toots Caboose and pals do love a parade; two within one week is fan-frickin'-tastic!

Toots Caboose, the alter ego of designer and author Jeff Fisher - the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives is clowning around for his third season as a member of the Amtrak Cascades Character Clown Corps for the Portland Rose Festival. The annual activities got off to an early start in May, with National Train Day at Union Station.

Toots on a Union Pacific caboose, next to SP 4449 - “World's Most Famous Steam Locomotive” - at Portland's Union Station during National Train Day. [Photo by clown pal Jumbo/Brian Ross].

A railroad engineer clown is always a big hit at National Train Day. Over five hours of clowning - and literally having hundreds of photos taken with children and train afficianados - is a bit exhausting, but it's an incredibly gratifying and enjoyable event.

This week, with the Portland Rose Festival in full swing, it's time for two historic parades and some serious fun:

Toots and the caboose of UP 956, Union Pacific's famous miniature train, at the 2010 Portland Rose Festival Junior Parade.

Fred Meyer Junior Rose Parade: The oldest and largest children's parade in the United States will be held on Wednesday, June 8th.

Pippa and Toots Caboose in the 2009 Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade [Photo by Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian].

Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade: The Grand Floral Parade is Saturday, June 11th. In 2010, in addition to being seen by a national television audience, nearly 500,000 people lined the streets of downtown Portland to view the event. Toots is looking forward to seeing the Union Pacific Miniature Train in the 2011 parade.

For more photos of the 2010 Amtrak Cascades Character Clown Corp activities, check out this gallery of images

© 2011 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

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