Snapshots of history in the 1941 Rose Parade

by Laura Berthold Monteros

 

At the Self-Built potluck last spring, Kim Bossley of Burbank Tournament of Roses Association handed me a packet of black-and-white photos of some of the entries in the 52nd Tournament of Roses Parade in 1941. They were taken by Gregory V. Watson and discovered by his great-niece, Catherine Mead. I am honored that they were shared with me, and I have posted them in the album below.

The theme that year was “America in Flowers.” The proliferation of flowers is noticeable on the floats, with proportionately fewer dry materials. J.W. McCall Jr. was president and E.O. Nay, the 23rd mayor of Pasadena, was Grand Marshal. There’s a golf course named after him in the Rose Bowl area.

Sally Stanton (Rubsamen) was the Rose Queen. She, along with Margaret Huntley Main, founded the Rose Queen Club to support the women who have held that honor. She was also present at the ribbon cutting for the Arroyo Seco Parkway, one of the first freeways in the country.

The photos are taken in front of a bank building that has changed hands several times. (It was Lloyd’s of London when I first moved to the area in 1978 and is now Bank of the West.) To the left in some of the photos is a huge radio tower on the roof of the old Pasadena Star-News building.

Enjoy a bit of history! And please add yours in the comments. You have to sign in, only because it helps to avoid spam.

 

Celebrities in vintage cars at the 2020 Rose Parade

The biggest celebrities of them all: the 2020 Tournament of Roses Royal Court. L-R, Rose Queen Camille Kennedy, Rose Princesses Emilie Risha, Reese Rosental Saporito, Mia Thorsen, Michael Wilkins, Rukan Saif, Cole Fox.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

At the Tournament of Roses Parade, the real celebrities are the gorgeous floral creations that float along the parade route on New Year’s Day. The 131st Rose Parade, held on Jan. 1, 2020, was no exception. But that doesn’t mean there are no human celebrities! Riding along Colorado Blvd. in flower-bedecked antique vehicles is a tradition for the people that the current president chooses to represent the theme she has chosen, this year, Pres. Laura Farber chose “The Power of Hope.”

You can read more about them by exploring the 2020 Tournament of Roses page on this website. You can see them, nestled in the seats of beautiful vehicles and waving to the crowds, in the gallery below. Information about the cars is in the captions.

 

Royal Court opens Pasadena Visitors Hotline for 2020 Tournament of Roses

Tournament of Roses President Laura Farber surrounded by the Royal Court: Princesses Rukan Saif, Mia Thorsen, Emilie Risha, Queen Camille Kennedy, Princesses Reese Rosental Saporito, Michael Wilkins, Cole Fox

by Laura Berthold Monteros

With a snip of oversized goldens scissors, Rose Queen Camille Kennedy and the Tournament of Roses Royal Court opened the 36th Annual Visitors Hotline phone bank on Dec.11, two weeks earlier than usual. The Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau hosts the hotline to provide fast and accurate information about the 131st Rose Parade, 106th Rose Bowl Game, and the City of Pasadena.

Christine Susa, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Center, told The Rose Examiner that the earlier calls are “less hectic” and more about hotels and the Rose Bowl Game teams than those that come after Christmas. “It’s more, ‘We just got our tickets, now what,” she said.

Lined up behind the wide red ribbon, the girls on the court grinned widely when Queen Camille cut the ribbon to officially open the hotline. Each station has a phone and bound book with all—or at least most—of the information volunteers need to help visitors to the 131st Tournament of Roses. The phones started ringing immediately, but we had a little time between calls to speak with the young women. One thing that is evident in watching and talking with this court is the way they enjoy each other. There was a lot of laughter this morning. Be sure to check out the gallery below!

College dreams and special birthdays

We started with Princess Reese Rosental Saporito, the youngest and tallest member of the Royal Court.

“She just turned 17 yesterday,” Queen Camille piped up. Reese said that she “doesn’t feel super different;” after all, she isn’t heads above the others (nor very much younger, though Dec. 31 is the deadline for Royal Court members to be at least 17.). She did acknowledge that sometimes she has to squat a bit for photos.

Camille has a birthday of her own coming up. She will turn 18 on Dec. 22. While she had traditional birthday celebrations growing up, despite being so close to Christmas, her last two birthdays were in Tokyo with her host family. They went out for sushi, then came home to traditional Japanese cakes. They’re very small, she said, each slice is a quarter of the cake.

We asked Princess Rukan Saif about her application to Yale College. (A disclaimer here, one of the offspring of The Rose Examiner attended Yale.) She said she will hear on Monday. She plans on studying history with an eye to law school and a professorship.

“All of us are finding out very soon,” she said, sounding pretty excited about it.

Princess Mia Thorsen is also waiting to hear from the many colleges to which she has applied. Her first choice is Brown University in Providence. Princess Emilie Risha said she had applied to schools in California, and has already been accepted to Saint Mary’s College of California in the Bay Area, and has received the highly competitive Presidential Scholarship.

Covering all her bases for the Rose Bowl Game, Princess Cole Fox has been accepted to the University of Oregon and is waiting to hear from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Ducks and Badgers will face off in the 2020 Rose Bowl Game. Cole applied to colleges all over the country that have outstanding biology programs, in preparation for going to med school.

“I’m open to whichever school has the best opportunities,” she said.

We asked Princess Michael Wilkins if she was a celebrity at her school. “I get a few ‘Hey, Princesses,’” she said, and sometimes applause when she enters a classroom. She says she and her parents talk about her role on the court all the time.

Both Reese and Mia attend Marshall Fundamental High School in Pasadena, and shared that they get have fun together after school. Reese reminded us that the last princess from Marshall was Queen Madison Triplett in 2015. In honor of the two, the school is putting up a display in the hall. The official Tournament of Roses photos have just been sent over for the display.

“It’s exciting,” Reese said. “It’s a special experience for the school and for us.”

An innovative president

Laura Farber has expanded the boundaries of the Rose Parade. Her tenure has seen the inclusion of more women and Latinos than in the past, matching the diversity of the Pasadena area and the Tournament of Roses Association, and she has added a brand-new half-time show to the parade.

“It’s the largest international stage that exists,” she said in her introductory remarks. “This year is really spectacular,”  It’s the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in federal elections, and a woman will pilot the B-2 in its flyover.

We asked her about the half-time show, “Frozen 2,” which will occur at the mid-point in the parade. Some followers of our Facebook page, All Things Rose Parade, have expressed concerns that the show will only perform for the video cameras on Orange Grove and Colorado.

“It’s been off-the-charts positive,” she replied. The performance will continue all along the parade route, not just for the cameras. “We want to give everyone a treat.”

“We’re trying to appeal to a broader audience,” she added, to balance the traditional and the innovative. “We have something for everybody, to appeal to everybody.”

In addition to Farber, officials attending were Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek and Vice-Mayor Tyron Hampton; Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Michael Ross, Executive Director Jeanne Goldsmith, and Director of Marketing and Communications Christine Susa; and Tournament of Roses Executive Director/CEO David Eads.

Subscribe to “The Rose Examiner” to get news and articles throughout the year.

 

Camille Kennedy announced as the 102nd Rose Queen of the Tournament of Roses

Rose Princesses Rukah Saif, Mia Thorsen, Emilie Risha, Reese Rosental Saporito, Michael Wilkins, Camille Kennedy, and Cole Fox are introduced by KTLA News anchor Lynette Romero

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Queen Camille Kennedy, wearing the Mikimoto crown featuring more than 600 cultured pearls and six carats of diamonds and the white gown designed by Tadashi Shoji.

On the patio of the famed Pasadena Playhouse, gathered friends, family, Tournament of Roses members, and media bustle in anticipation of one of the most exciting annual events in the city. Inside, after the chatter dies down, the 102nd Rose Queen will be announced. Chosen from seven young women on the Tournament of Roses 2020 Royal Court, the queen will preside over the 131st Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2020. But who will it be?

The story is really in the pictures in the gallery below, so be sure to take a look and read the captions to learn more about the women of the Tournament of Roses Royal Court.

Amid servers carrying plates of hors d’oeuvres, the music of The Mariachi Divas, and snapping cameras, we were able to identify the parents (the dads wear white rose boutonnieres) and talk with a few. They had lovely memories of their daughters, and were happy to share with The Rose Examiner. For more about the Royal Court, check out the Royal Court page on this website.

ON THE PATIO

Princess Rukah Saif must have set the record for the family member who traveled the farthest. Her grandmother, Shamsun Nahar, flew all the way from Bangladesh and just arrived a few days earlier. Rukah’s mother, Rumana Rashid, said her daughter had been going to the Rose Parade since she was a child perched on her father’s shoulders.

“She enjoyed it through her whole youth,” Rashid said. She described Rukah as quiet and very kindhearted. “She is our only child. She grew up with us.”

Her mother and father, Saif Haroon, were graduate students—she in molecular biology and he in civil engineering—when Rukah was born. She was still a preschooler when they moved to California, and has been to the parade very year since. She even marched with the Arcadia High School Band in one and helped to decorate a float.

Princess Michael  Wilkins—“Mike” to her family and friends—is also an only child. He father, Overton Wilkins, said, “She’s my little sunshine,” and related how he sang “This Little Light of Mine” to her.

“She always made us proud,” he said. “She’s a nice young lady and we enjoy her.” Indeed. Her father said that in addition to being quite an athlete, having won in CIF tennis tournaments, “She’s just as good in speech and debate.” She’s been on the Maranatha High School team for four years, and went to the NAACP oratory finals in Detroit last July.

“I told her if  you practice long enough, good things will happen,” Wilkins said. “She’s been a blessing to us.”

Princess Reese Rosental Saporito’s father, Chris Rosental Saporito, said, “I am so proud of her. She is fantastic.” She has handled her position on the Royal Court with grace, he said. Reese is on the soccer team with fellow Marshall Fundamental School Princess Mia Thorsen.

INSIDE THE PLAYHOUSE

It was pretty much an all-female and heavily Latina cast, with Pres. Laura Farber leading the way as the first Latina (and only third woman) leading the 2020 Tournament of Roses. She was joined by the chair of the Queen & Court Committee, Ruth Martinez-Baenen, emcee Lynette Romero from KTLA News, and of course the Divas. Farber welcomed the audience, thanked the sponsors, and introduced the Pasadena Playhouse director of development Nancy Griffith Baxter and emcee Romero.

Each of the seven princesses was introduced with a short slide show featuring photos from early childhood and teen years. Voiceovers by her parents mentioned accomplishments, character, and personality. When all seven were onstage in their diaphanous champagne gowns, it was time for the announcement. Farber stretched out the announcement with several teasing false starts, then opened the envelope to announce, “Camille Kennedy!” After hugs and photos, the girls left to be fitted with their tiaras and for Queen Camille to change into her white gown.

In the interim, Farber asked the former princesses and queens in attendance to stand up, and she introduced the 1940 Rose Queen, Margaret Huntley Main, attending her 80th coronation. Queen Margaret, who wrote the book A Rose Queen Is Forever, advised, “Enjoy every moment. You are making memories for the rest of your life.”

There was a slideshow of the Royal Court at community events and their retreat in Solvang, a Danish community in Central California. The Mariachi Divas gave a spirited performance of mariachi favorites. When the set was done, they walked off the stage playing “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.”

As each Rose Princess was led back onstage on her father’s arm, she received a bouquet of red roses from two former princesses, Maya Kawaguchi Kahn (2017) and Helen Rossi (2019). The previous Rose Queen usually presents the bouquet to the newly-announced queen, but due to a calculus midterm in Chicago, Queen Louise Deser Siskel could not make it. She sent a video promising to take Queen Camille out for a deep dish pizza to make up for it, and Martinez-Baenen presented the roses.

OVER BUT STILL GOING

After the program, there were rounds of still photos and interviews with the media for the members of the Royal Court. We were able to get a few words with Queen Camille and some of the other members of the court. Quotes from the princesses are in the captions below; they are amazing young women, so be sure to read them! We asked Queen Camille, who is fluent in Japanese and wants to attend college in the country, if she learns languages easily and what she learns about others from knowing their language.

“I do!” she replied. “That’s what I’m proud of.” Math and science are more challenging for her, she said. In addition to Japanese, she is “fascinated with Korean.”

“The best way to learn a culture is to learn the language, and if you’re interested in [learning about] a culture, learn the language.”

OFFICIAL TOURNAMENT OF ROSES BIO

Camille is a senior at La Salle College Preparatory and lives in Pasadena. She is currently a member of her school’s drama/musical theater troupe and has been featured in three productions, including a lead role in the spring 2019 musical, “City of Angels.”  Camille is a member of the afterschool choral group and the Support Our Troops Club.  Camille enjoys listening to music, performing in theater productions with friends, cooking, and hitting the gym with her dad.  She plans to pursue a liberal arts degree in Japanese linguistics, social sciences, or culture and media studies. Camille is interested in going to college in Japan, with Waseda University in Tokyo and Asia Pacific University in Kyushu as her top choices.  Camille is the daughter of Tim and Jennifer Kennedy; she has two younger sisters, Ava and Esmé.

2020 Rose Queen Camille and the Royal Court will attend numerous community and media functions, serving as ambassadors of the Tournament of Roses, the Pasadena community, and the greater Los Angeles area. The grand finale will be their appearance on the Royal Court float in the 131st Rose Parade® presented by Honda and attending the 106th Rose Bowl Game® presented by Northwestern Mutual, both on Wednesday, January 1, 2020.

 

2020 Tournament of Roses

THE POWER OF HOPE

The 2020 Tournament of Roses in photos and stories

Each year, “America’s New Year Celebration” opens the door to joy, inspiration, and hope for the coming year. The theme of the 131st Rose Parade and 106th Rose Bowl Game is “The Power of Hope,” a big idea that can change the world. Or at least, our outlook on life. Hope is not just wishful thinking; it brings strength and power to our lives, even when things don’t seem to be going right. Participants from all over the globe find this hope as they ride, walk, and march along the parade route every year.

The big events, of course, are the parade and game, held on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. The Rose parade is a two-hour extravaganza of flower-covered floats, cars carrying Tournament of Roses celebrities, marching bands, and equestrian units. The Rose Bowl Game pits top football teams in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the oldest post-season collegiate bowl game. They aren’t the only events, though. The days before and after are filled with things to do for people of all ages and abilities. Locals and visitors can attend Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats, and Live on Green.

Pasadena and environs offer great eateries, from In-N-Out Burgers to local breweries to high-end restaurants. Dozens attractions—museums, theme parks, children’s activities, concerts, theater, educational institutions, and landmarks—beckon Pasadenans and visitors alike. Enjoy the Tournament of Roses activities, and catch a little California culture, too.

Whether you watch online, on television, or live in Pasadena, The Rose Examiner will keep you informed. This page will be updated as new articles are added. Subscribe for free by filling out the box at the top of the left column, and be sure to bookmark this page and return to it frequently! You can also follow “All Things Rose Parade” on Facebook.

 

 

General Information

INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE 2020 TOURNAMENT OF ROSES

131ST TOURNAMENT OF ROSES CALENDAR

131st Tournament of Roses Parade order of march

Royal Court opens Pasadena Visitors Hotline for 2020 Tournament of Roses

Tickets and hospitality packages

There is no such thing as the Rose BOWL Parade!

Will it rain on my Rose Parade? The rules: No Sundays, water themes, or Supreme Court Justices equals no rain

What’s in a nickname? How Pasadena California is known to locals and the world

Make a real difference with Real Change meters

Rose Parade

Click for information, floats, marching bands, and equestrians

The 2020 Royal Court

Click for articles & albums about the Tournament of Roses Royal Court

Rose Bowl Game

Rose Bowl Game 2020 tickets and packages now on sale

Rose Bowl Hall of Fame 2019: Casey, Greene, Leinart, and Robinson

Rose Bowl Game Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Rose Bowl Game Keith Jackson Postgraduate Scholarship winners

Special Events

Tickets for the 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade on sale now

Rose Parade 2020 events: Buy tickets for Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats

Bandfest show schedule for 2020 Rose Parade entries

Live on Green

Rose Bowl Bash

Look up! Aircraft are part of the Rose Parade excitement

Celebrities & Sponsors

Three Latinas dance their way to the 2020 Rose Parade as Grand Marshals

Hope and happiness make for a good Tournament. Our interview with Pres. Laura Farber

 New TOR Pres. Laura Farber brings ‘The Power of Hope’ to 2020

Tournament of Roses announces executive committee for 2019-2020

Helpful Links

Tournament of Roses

Tournament of Roses Parade Day Guide

Visit Pasadena Rose Parade spectator guide

Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau

Rose Bowl Stadium

Visit Pasadena Rose Bowl Game spectator guide

Rose Bowl Game & official tours at PrimeSport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Royal Court for 2020 Tournament of Roses is announced

Rukan Saif, Arcadia High School; Mia Thorsen, Marshall Fundamental School; Emilie Risha, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; Reese Rosental Saporito, Marshall Fundamental School; Michael Wilkins, Maranatha High School; Camille Kennedy, La Salle College Preparatory; Cole Fox, South Pasadena High School (L-R)

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The hustle and bustle of parents, schoolmates, reporters, photographers, and Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association members died down when Ruth Martinez-Baenen, chair of the Queen & Court Committee, stepped behind the lectern. After three weeks of interviews with applicants, she averred that it was very difficult to make the choice of which seven girls would become Rose Princesses. The process culminated on Monday morning with the announcement of the young women would serve on the 2020 Royal Court. They will represent the association and the city at some 100 events, including the 131st Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2020.

As the 25 finalists, each on the arm of a committee member, filed out of Tournament House, Martinez-Baenen read out the names and schools. Screams of family and friends filled the air as the girls were introduced. Photographers snapped photos, writers scribbled in notebooks, and some of us did both. Then Pres. Laura Farber stepped up and opened the seven envelopes one at a time.

“From South Pasadena High School, Cole Fox!” she read. “From La Salle College Preparatory, Camille Kennedy.” Following quickly were Michael Wilkins, Maranatha High School; Reese Rosental Saporito, Marshall Fundamental School; Emilie Risha, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; Mia Thorsen, Marshall Fundamental School; Rukan Saif, Arcadia High School.

Be sure to page through the photo gallery below. Video will be coming to All Things Rose Parade on Facebook soon!

After the announcement, we were allowed four minutes to run though the line and get quotes. Here’s a sampling”

  • We overheard Princess Cole tell a TV reporter that she is “Loud and proud” and looking forward to getting to know the other girls on the court.
  • Princess Camille said that she was not expecting to be selected. “It feels surreal now,” she said.
  •  “I’ve lived in Pasadena my whole life,” Princess Michael said of her motivation to try out for the court. “I wanted to be the person everyone can look up to.” an example for others.
  • “It’s so exciting!” Princess Reese said. “It’s amazing! I am extremely excited.”
  • “Every time you came back for an interview, there was a flutter in your heart,” Princess Emilie told us.
  • Princess Mia expressed a similar emotion when she was notified she would be moving to the next round. “Every time I got the congratulation email, I was nervous all over again,” she said, adding that as the interview sessions progresses, the remaining girls grew closer.
  • Princess Rukan was especially surprised when Pres. Farber read her name. “I was the last one called,” she reminded us, which meant the odds of getting a place on the court were slimmer.

The official Tournament of Roses bios

Cole Fox is a senior at South Pasadena High School and lives in South Pasadena. She is currently Associated Student Body senior class vice president, Copa De Oro (Yearbook) Head of Design, Student Site Council secretary, Girl Scouts of America member, POSSE Foundation Scholarship Semi-Finalist, and lead in school play “Metamorphoses.” Cole enjoys vegan cooking, Sudoku puzzles, creative writing, painting, hairstyling and dancing. She plans to study biology and attend medical school. Ultimately, she aspires to become a dermatologist and is interested in attending New York University, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Santa Barbara or Boston University. Cole is the daughter of Robert and Rachel Fox; she has two siblings, Harper and Sawyer.

Camille Kennedy is a senior at La Salle College Preparatory and lives in Pasadena. She is currently a part of her school’s musical theater troupe and has played the lead role in four productions. Camille is a member of the After-hours chorus class and the Support Our Troops Club. Camille enjoys listening to music, performing in theater productions with friends, working out with her dad, and cooking. She plans to pursue a liberal arts degree in Japanese linguistics, social sciences, or culture and media studies. Camille is interested in attending university in Japan, Waseda University in Tokyo and Asia Pacific University in Kyushu. Camille is the daughter of Jim and Jennifer Kennedy; she has two sisters, Ava and Esme.

Emilie Risha is a senior at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and lives in La Cañada. She is currently treasurer of the Young Writers’ Society, president of gardening in the Cooking and Gardening Club, Saint Francis High School Theatre dance captain and a member of the Library Advisory Board, Comedy Sportz, and Girl Scouts of Greater LA. Emilie enjoys dancing, writing, cooking, and reading. She plans to study comedy writing and copywriting. Emilie is interested in attending University of California, Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, University of California, Davis, or Chapman University. Emilie is the daughter of Janah and Elizabeth Risha; she has three sisters, Lauren, Allison and Isabelle.

Rukan Saif is a senior at Arcadia High School and lives in Temple City. She is currently president of My Friend and I Club, National Honor Society vice president, captain of the Speech and Debate Team, Senior Men and Women secretary, Bangladeshi-American Charitable Organization ambassador and represented her high school at Girls’ State Conference. Rukan enjoys spending time with loved ones, playing the marimba, writing poetry, reading, and hiking. She plans to study American studies and history in hopes of later working towards a graduate degree. Rukan is interested in attending Brown University, Univeristy of California, Los Angeles, or Georgetown University. Rukan is the daughter of Saif Haroon and Rumana Rashid.

Reese Rosental Saporito is a senior at Marshall Fundamental School and lives in Altadena. She is currently a member of the varsity soccer team, International Thespian Society, National Honor Society, Unidos, Mock Trial, the Drama Council clerk, a Posse Scholar and AYSO Soccer captain. Reese enjoys musical theater, soccer, and participating in Moorpark Teaching Zoo Junior Safari program. She plans to become a lawyer with a science background, while staying involved in community theater. Reese is interested in attending Northwestern University or Georgetown University. Reese is the daughter of Chris and Dori Rosental Saporito; she has one sister, Maya.

Mia Thorsen is a senior at Marshall Fundamental School and lives in Altadena. She is currently president of the Girls Soccer Club, vice president of the Storytellers Club, manager of varsity Girls Soccer, a member of the Asian Club, Black Student Union, National Honors Society, Unidos, PolySummer, Prom Committee and the UCLA Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP). Mia enjoys oil painting, creative writing, sketching, sociology, politics, psychology, reading, soccer, tennis, and human geography. She plans to study international law to become a United Nations ambassador. Mia is interested in attending Brown, Barnard, Tufts, UCSB. Mia is the daughter of Remus and Dina Thorsen; she has one brother, Thor.

Michael Wilkins is senior at Maranatha High School and lives in Pasadena. She is currently captain of varsity tennis, and a member of the Ambassador Club, Helping Hands Club, and Advanced Speech and Debate. Michael enjoys tennis, public speaking, golf, swimming, babysitting, spending time with family, traveling, and getting her nails done with her mom. She plans to study medicine with the goal to become pediatrician. Michael is interested in attending the University of Southern California, University of California, Los Angeles, Howard University, University of California, San Diego, University of Oregon, or Loyola Marymount University. Michael is the daughter of Overton Wilkins and Jane Reese-Wilkins.

The Announcement and Coronation of the 102nd Rose Queen® and Presentation of the 2020 Royal Court is on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at the Pasadena Playhouse; the event is sponsored by Citizens Business Bank. A limited number of tickets are available for purchase from Sharp Seating Company.

 

25 young women chosen as finalists for the Rose Parade Royal Court

Above: Finalists for the 2020 Royal Court enjoying the moment. Copyright LB Monteros 2019

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The announcement of the young women who made it to the last round of judging for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court is always exciting. Who made it? Which schools are represented? How many from each? Who do you think will be chosen as one of the seven girls on the 2020 Royal Court? On Monday, seven women will be announced as princesses, and one of those will be chosen as the Rose Queen

Today’s year’s class of finalists is the smallest we have seen, with 25 girls from 14 schools. Generally, the number is around 35. Here are some stats: School with the most representatives, Westridge School, four. Finalists from public schools: 15; from private schools, 10; from schools located in the City of Pasadena, 15 from seven schools.

One out of 7: How the Rose Queen is chosen from the Royal Court

Make a date with the Rose Parade Royal Court

2020 Royal Court finalists. Photo courtesy Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association

And here they are!

First row, from left: (#100) Lailah Batchelder, Blair High School; (#093) Carly Witteman, La Canada High School; (#088) Janelle Johnson, John Marshall Fundamental High School; (#059) Rukan Saif, Arcadia High School; (#033) Siena Dancsecs, La Canada High School; (#030) Emilie Risha, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; (#023) Reese Rosental Saporito, John Marshall Fundamental High School. 

Second row, from left: (#252) Samantha Kennedy, Mayfield Senior School; (#248) Ai Kusayanagi, Temple City High School; (#235) Michael Wilkins, Maranatha High School; (#209) Amaiya Drew, Pasadena High School; (#200) Ava Walters, Pasadena High School; (#189) Lily Nelson, Westridge School; (#129); Reese Owen, Westridge School; (#129) Saudia Usher, John Muir High School.

Top row, from left: (#492) Mia Thorsen, John Marshall Fundamental High School; (#484) Lily Mendez, Mayfield Senior School; (#410) Camille Kennedy, La Salle High School; (#394)   Sydney Chang,  Arcadia High School; (#390) Sydney Haupt, La Salle High School; (#315)   Heein Kim, San Marino High School; (#296) Eleanor Washburn, Westridge School; (#295)   Kathleen Fox, South Pasadena High School; (#294) Mia Dawson, South Pasadena High School; (#273)   Sophia  Rubbo, Westridge School.

Make a date with the Rose Parade Royal Court

by Laura Berthold Monteros

2019 Rose Parade Royal Court: Helen Rossi, Rucha Kadam, Lauren Baydaline, Micaela McElrath, Sherry Ma, Louise Siskel, Ashley Hackett

Fall in Pasadena brings a flurry of activity for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court. From the first weekend in September until the third week of October, the months are filled with various rounds of tryouts, the announcement of the court, and the announcement and coronation of the young woman chosen to be the Rose Queen. In the days in between, the girls learn how to be princesses, bond as a unit, and engage with the public.

One out of 7: How the Rose Queen is chosen from the Royal Court

The Rose Examiner will be at these upcoming events and will file reports, so be sure to subscribe in the box to the left. (We promise, no spam emails.)

Royal Court Announcement
Seven young women out of about 35 finalists will be chose to serve on the 2020 Royal Court.
Sept. 30, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.
Tournament House
391 South Orange Grove Blvd.
Pasadena, Calif.

 

101st Rose Queen Louise Deser Siskel with father Charlie Siskel, mother Abigail Deser, brother Simon

Rose Queen Announcement and Coronation Ceremony
The culmination of weeks of hopes and dreams, the one who is outstanding in a court of extraordinary women will be crowned the 102nd Rose Queen. Tickets are now on sale at Sharp Seating Company.
Oct. 22, 2019 at 6 p.m.
Reception, 5:30 p.m.; Coronation, 7 p.m.
Pasadena Playhouse
39 S El Molino Ave., Pasadena, Calif.

131st Rose Parade
Jan. 1, 2020, 8 a.m.
Tickets available from Sharp Seating

Rose Parade Royal Court applications are open for 2020

Tournament of Roses volunteers are ready to greet Royal Court applicants and answer questions at tryouts on Sept. 7 and 9, 2019.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Applications are open for the 131st Rose Parade, to be held on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. Seven selected young women will represent the Tournament of Roses and City of Pasadena in the parade and at the 106th Rose Bowl Game. The court performs duties from the time of selection through the selection of the next court in 2020. More information is available on the Royal Court webpage and the online application.

The first round takes place over two days to accommodate the 700 to 1,000 applicants: Saturday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 9, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The dates for the second, third, and final rounds are on the website. All are at Tournament House, 391 S. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena.

In the first round, each applicant has 15 seconds in front of the Queen & Court Committee to state her badge number and why she wants to be on the Royal Court. The selection committee will not ask any questions nor ask the applicant to begin speaking.

Advice from previous Court members is to be confident, be genuine, and be yourself. The Tournament suggests wearing something that feels comfortable, reflects the girl’s personality, and will make a good first impression. The Rose Examiner has noticed that almost all the girls wear dresses, and many wear the same “lucky” dress for the entire round of interviews. Participants are selected based upon a combination of qualities, including public speaking ability, youth leadership, academic achievement, and community and school involvement.

To participate, an applicant must

  • Identify as a female, at least 17 years of age by December 31, 2019, and not more than 21 years of age before January 5, 2020
  • Be a full-time resident of the Pasadena Area Community College District
  • Possess at least a 2.0 grade point average in both the current and previous years’ course work
  • Be available to participate, in person, in all interview sessions in the fall
  • 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
  • Complete the official Royal Court online application

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. 21.

Most of the 100 or so appearances occur from mid-October to the first week in January. For the many hours they serve, the young women on the Royal Court receive both tangible and intangible benefits. They serve in a world-renowned volunteer community, develop public speaking and etiquette skills, and receive a $7,500 educational scholarship, full wardrobe for appearances, and professional hairstyling and make-up application and instruction.