by Laura Berthold Monteros
What does it take to be a Rose Princess in the 128th Rose Parade? Former princesses and queens say pretty much the same thing: be confident, be genuine, be yourself. We might add that being involved in community and school service is important, as is a positive attitude. The Tournament of Roses is looking for seven young women to serve on the 2017 Royal Court and ride down Colorado Blvd. in on Jan. 2. One of these girls will become the 99th Rose Queen. Applications are available beginning Aug. 1 on the Royal Court webpage.
The first round of tryouts is held over two days, Saturday, Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 12 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.at Tournament House, 391 S. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena. Schools are assigned specific time slots, but if an applicant cannot be there at that time, she can come during any of the tryout hours.
To participate, an applicant must
- Be an unmarried, female resident of the Pasadena Area Community College District and able to provide verification of residence;
- Be a senior in high school or enrolled as a full-time student (minimum 12 units) in any accredited school or college in the Pasadena Area Community College District;
- Possess at least a 2.0 (C) non-weighted grade point average in both the current and previous years’ course work and able to provide verification of same;
- Be at least 17 years of age by Dec. 31, 2016, and not more than 21 years of age before Jan. 5, 2017, with no children;
- Complete an official contestant’s application and participate in one of the initial interviews.
- A list of eligible schools and FAQs are available on the Royal Court webpage.
At the tryouts, former Royal Court members brief applicants on what to expect and are available to answer questions. Tours of the historic Wrigley Mansion are offered and all the applicants are gifted with a rose, photo, official Rose Parade poster, and a ticket for two to the Royal Ball, a semi-formal dance hosted by the Tournament of Roses at the Pasadena Convention Center on Sept. 23. The court will serve from October, 2016 to October, 2017 but most of the activity happens from mid-October to the first week in January, with around 100 appearances during that time.
The Royal Court is chosen from a field of around 900 applicants. Approximately 250 participants will be invited back for a second round of interviews; from that group, about 75 young women will be asked to participate in the third round of interviews. On Sept. 28, approximately 25 to 35 candidates will be announced as finalists. The seven-member Royal Court will be announced on Oct. 4 at Tournament House. The announcement and coronation of the Rose Queen is scheduled for the evening of Oct. 20 at the Pasadena Playhouse.