Hobnobbing with Rose Parade royalty in Pasadena

At last Friday’s reception for “Royals of Pasadena” at Pasadena Museum of History, 20 former and three current Royal Court members gave the classic Rose Parade wave.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The invitation said “Royal attire encouraged.” The Rose Examiner did not have royal attire, but we were in the courtly spirit at the reception for members of the Rose Parade Royal Court, past and present, at Pasadena Museum of History’s exhibit “Royals of Pasadena” on Sept. 8. More than 20 Rose Queens and Princesses attended. Each one received a special tiara from Laura Verlaque, Director of Collections as she entered. We were able to talk with several of the Royals, as well as one of the curators of the exhibit.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery in this article, and the stories of the Rose Queen crowns in the article below.

Gowns and wardrobe items were solicited from members of Royal Courts across the decades. Verlaque said that originally, PMH was going to send letters to the entire list of prior Court members that the Tournament of Roses had provided. Then, right before the letters were to go out, she realized that was a tremendous number of women, so the requests were limited to those who still lived in California. Even with that, 75 gowns were offered.

Elissa De Angelo is one of a group of volunteers who preserve the textiles in the PMH collection, and prepare them for display. As the dresses came in, she altered the mannequins to fit the dresses. “Boobs, shoulder pads, clothes from each decade were worn differently,” she said. Some of the dresses had to be cleaned or steamed, with care to the kind of fabric. She said a hair dryer was used to blow the dust off silk garments, because silk could not be cleaned.

“The French Hand Laundry was very helpful with offering expertise,” De Angelo said. (The business, a Pasadena fixture, has operated since 1912.) For more about PMH textile exhibits, read “Fabulous Fashions” (pdf).

She called our attention to the most recent dress, a sapphire gown worn by 2017 Rose Princess Shannon Larsuel. Asked if any of the queens had worn their dresses in their weddings, she directed us to the 1949 white gown worn by Queen Virginia Bower. Both are pictured in the photo gallery.

Beverlie Anderson MacDuff was a Rose Princess in Queen Virginia’s court. “I had a wonderful time,” she said. “I’ve always been happy that I was a princess.” Born in Pasadena, Princess Beverlie said she went to the Rose Parade “a babe in arms.” She never missed a parade after that.

 

All photos copyright 2017 by Laura Berthold Monteros

Royal Court hopefuls line up for an opportunity to be a princess in the 2018 Rose Parade

2017 Princesses Natalie Rose Petrosian, Lauren “Emi” Emiko Powers, and Maya Kawaguchi Khan performed one of the final Royal Court duties of orienting the hundreds of girls who were trying out for 2018.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

For many teenage girls living in the Pasadena area, trying out for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court is a family or school tradition. They come with their friends and each has a story about why she wants to represent the Tournament and the community in the 129th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2018 and throughout the year. Seven young women will be chosen to promote the 2018 theme “Making a Difference” by serving for a year on the 2018 Royal Court. One of those seven will become the 100th Rose Queen, an event so monumental that Pasadena Museum of History has an exhibit dedicated to the Royal Court.

We spoke with some of the teens who came on a beautiful Saturday morning with a cool high for the day of 90 degrees—much nicer than the 100+ temperatures of past tryouts. We caught them before their turn in front of the panel of judges to say, in a few seconds, why they wanted to be on the Court. They had a bit more time with The Rose Examiner! Here, with their photos, are their comments. Be sure to check out the gallery, too, which has lots of photos of the event. All the articles on the Royal Court are linked on this dedicated page as they are posted.

Olivia and Reagan

 

Olivia and Reagan attend La Cañada Flintridge High School. Olivia is a recipient of the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts. She “loves volunteering,” and said serving on the Royal Court “would be the perfect icing on the cake.” She added that it would be a great experience to have. Reagan said she was very excited about the tryouts. “I’m a little nervous, actually,” she admitted. She thought about what she would say to the judges, “but I don’t want to sound too scripted.”

 

Savannah, Celine, Kasen, Jennifer, Delia, Bridgitte

Savannah and Celine attend AGBU Vatche & Tamar Manoukian High School in Pasadena (hereafter referred to as AGBU) and Kasen, Jennifer, Delia, and Bridgitte attend Arcadia High School. All of the girls understood the effect they could in the community. Savannah wants to promote equality for all, and Kasen, Jennifer, and Bridgette would like to inspire other youth. “I want to set a good example for them to live out their dreams,” Jennifer said. Delia would like to be a role model by “projecting self-confidence to young girls.” Celine took a different tack: She lives in the moment, she said, and relishes the experience of trying out for the Royal Court.

 

Kristen and Danielle

Kristen and Danielle are students at Marshall Fundamental High School in Pasadena. They talked about how they might make a difference on the Royal Court. “I’m part of the National Charity League,” Kristen said, “so I contribute a lot of time. With this, I can help even more.” Danielle said she has made a difference in her work with teaching swim classes and water safety to children.

 

Lara and Danielle

Lara, a student at AGBU, said, “I feel like being an Armenian on the Court would bring awareness to the Armenian community.” She noted that there is a large Armenian population in Pasadena, and we discussed that it goes back to the early years of the 20th century. She was proud that the American Armenian Rose Float Association would have a fourth float in the 2018 parade. Danielle attends Arcadia High School. “I really would enjoy this opportunity to inspire young girls,” she said, and to “really make a difference” in the community.

 

Ashley, James, Samantha

 

We always like to talk to at least one boy in the line. Ashley, James, and Samantha all attend La Salle High School in Pasadena. Sometimes the guys come just to get the pair of tickets to the Royal Ball that all applicants receive, but James assured us that he had more on his mind. Speaking with a polite tone, he said, “I’m here to make a difference. I’m here because this is a Tournament that seems to be sexist.” He isn’t the first young man to express that thought! Ashley (L.) said that the diversity and service she found speaks to her  heart. Samantha wants to represent student athletes. “I want bring something new,” she said. “I want to represent those who excel in their sports.”

 

Simone and Cathy

 

Simone, from Marshall, came with her mom Cathy. Born and raised in this city, Simone said. “I’m here today because I love Pasadena,” adding that she will “bring a positive energy to the Royal Court. I hope to get to the next round. I’m happy to be  here!”

 

Mariajosé and Kimberley

Mariajosé attends John Muir High School in Pasadena and Kimberley goes to Marshall. Mariajosé said, “I just want to try out. Everyone’s been talking about it in school.” She inspired The Rose Examiner with her candor when she added, “This is the first time doing something out of my comfort zone.” As we walk down the line, we can only speak with a few girls. Kimberley, with her rose-bedecked dress, stood out. “I wanted to show who I am,” she said. My culture shows who I am, and this dress shows my culture, because of the flowers.”

 

Filling out an application, standing in a long line in the sun, crowding onto the Tournament House porch for orientation, walking—usually nervously—up to a panel of 10 or 11 judges, and leaving Tournament House with a poster after a tour is a rite of passage for hundreds of girls who live within the boundaries of Pasadena City College. Some come to be with friends or for the experience, some come with grander ideas in mind. Some, like Lara and Kimberley, are proud of their culture and how it contributes to who they are as individuals. Some, like James, want to make a point. For some, like Mariajosé, it is a personal challenge. For writers like  The Rose Examiner, it is inspirational.

 

All photos copyright 2017 Laura B. Monteros

 

2018 Royal Court

Rose Queen crown by Mikimoto. c. 2011 LBM

 

 

All the latest and historical articles on the Tournament of Roses Royal Court

 

All photos are copyrighted. Please contact Administrator for permissions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hobnobbing with Rose Parade royalty in Pasadena

Crowning the Rose Parade Queens: Photo gallery

Royal Court hopefuls line up for an opportunity to be a princess in the 2018 Rose Parade

Even after 100 years, a Rose Queen is forever at Pasadena Museum of History

Rose Parade Royal Court applications are open for the 100th Rose Queen

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

Tournament of Roses inspires a middle-school mystery filled with suspense and danger

 

 

Rose Parade Royal Court applications are open for the 100th Rose Queen

by Laura Berthold Monteros

There’s a special honor in store for the young woman who will be chosen as the Rose Queen for the 129th Rose Parade. She will be the 100th woman to grace the Queen’s float as it glides along Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. She will be joined by six Princesses who share in experience of representing the Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena on Jan. 1, 2018 and throughout the year. Applications are now available on the Royal Court webpage.

2017 Rose Parade Royal Court: Clockwise from Queen Victoria Castellanos, Princesses Autumn Lundy, Audrey Cameron, Emi Powers, Shannon Larsuel, Natalie Petrosian, Maya Kawaguchi Khan
2017 Rose Parade Royal Court: Clockwise from Queen Victoria, Princesses Autumn, Audrey, Emi, Shannon, Natalie, Maya.

The first round of tryouts is held over two days, Saturday, Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 11 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. 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 11-member 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. This column has noticed that almost all the girls wear dresses, and many wear the same dress for the entire round of interviews. Participants are selected based upon a combination of qualities, including public speaking ability, poise, academic achievement, and community and school involvement.

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 (a list is on the webpage);
  • 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, 2017, and not more than 21 years of age before Jan. 5, 2018, with no children;
  • Register and complete the official Royal Court online application;
  • Be available to participate in all scheduled interview sessions.
Queen & Court judges at the first round of Royal Court tryouts in 2016
Queen & Court judges at the first round of Royal Court tryouts in 2016

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. 22.

The court will serve from October, 2017 to October, 2018, but most of the activity happens from mid-October to the first week in January, with around 100 appearances during that time. For all 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 make lifelong friendships, as well as receive a small educational scholarship, full wardrobe for appearances, professional hairstyling, make-up application and instruction, and 50-yard-line seats at the 104th Rose Bowl Game.

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. 27, approximately 25 to 35 candidates will be announced as finalists. The seven-member Royal Court will be announced on Oct. 2 at Tournament House. The announcement and coronation of the Rose Queen is scheduled for the evening of Oct. 18.

Helpful links:

Online application

Brochure (pdf)

 

2018 Tournament of Roses

2018 Tournament of Roses Theme poster. Courtesy Pasadena TOR.

 

“MAKING A DIFFERENCE”

The 129th Tournament of Roses in photos and stories

The Tournament of Roses in Pasadena is more than the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2018. It is the week-long “America’s New Year Celebration,” chock full of floats, bands, equestrians, and family-friendly activities. Visitors can attend Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats, and Live on Green.

The 129th Rose Parade features bands from all over the world, equestrian groups, and around 45 flower-covered floats presenting the theme “Making a Difference.” The 104th Rose Bowl Game pits the top teams in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the oldest post-season collegiate bowl game.

Read all about it by clicking on the links below, which contain information about the events and people involved as well as tips on attending the events and getting around.  The list will be updated as articles are posted.  Be sure to bookmark this page and return to it frequently!

 

General Information

2018 TOURNAMENT OF ROSES CALENDAR

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

Tournament of Roses News & Events

Make a real difference with Real Change meters

Rose Parade 

Information, floats, marching bands, and equestrians

The 2018 Royal Court

Articles & albums about the Tournament of Roses Royal Court

Rose Bowl Game

Information, events, people

Special Events

Bandfest show schedule for 2018 Rose Parade marching units

Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats for 129th Tournament of Roses

Tournament of Roses Foundation presents $200,000 in grants to SGV non-profits

Phoenix Decorating Company chosen to design gateway arch to Arroyo Seco Weekend

Even after 100 years, a Rose Queen is forever at Pasadena Museum of History

Celebrities & Sponsors

Tournament of Roses Pres. Lance Tibbet is aiming on ‘Making a Difference’ in 2018 

David Eads of LA Chamber announced as new Executive Director/CEO of  Pasadena Tournament of Roses

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 Parade official tours at PrimeSport

Rose Bowl Game official tours at PrimeSport

Queen Victoria and her Royal Court in the 2017 Rose Parade: Photos

Rose Queen Victoria Castellanos presides over her Royal Court, clockwise from Victoria’s left, Princesses Autumn Lundy, Audrey Cameron, Emi Powers, Shannon Larsuel, Natalie Petrosian, Maya Kawaguchi Khan at the 128th Rose Parade on Jan. 2, 2017. c2017 RLM

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Seven 17-year-old girls were chosen for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court on Oct. 4, 2016. Three months later, they glided along the Rose Parade route on seven black chairs that are better than thrones. They represented the Tournament, the City of Pasadena, and in a sense all the girls who dream of riding on the Queen and Court float one day. While the Rose Parade is the crowning event for the young women, that’s not all there is to being a princess.

The young women made some 100 appearances in that brief quarter of a year, and they gave up some of the things that  make the senior year of high school so memorable. They learned to get along with each other—indeed, part of the selection process is choosing seven girls whose individual personalities will mesh—and they learned how to walk and speak and eat with the correct utensils. One young woman was Continue reading “Queen Victoria and her Royal Court in the 2017 Rose Parade: Photos”

Photos: Royal Court cuts ribbon for 2017 Tournament of Roses hotline

by Laura Berthold Monteros

“Yes, I’m Queen Victoria!” When Tori Castellanos picked up the phone at the Visitor Hotline at the Pasadena Convention Center on Thursday, she had to assure the caller that indeed they were talking to the 99th Rose Queen. The hotline, +1 (877) 793-9911, is open from 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30 and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It’s staffed by volunteers, and lucky callers might even talk to a princess.

The hotline room was packed with photographers eager to get shots of the 2017 Royal Court at the annual Visitor Hotline ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday. The girls were a bit late (ever try to get seven teenagers ready on time?), but happy to be there to open the phones. The Visitor Hotline, run by the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau, is best way to get on-the-spot information on events, including the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, places to eat, hotels, parking, and activities in the Crown City.

More information is on the “GoPasadena” app, which can be downloaded to mobile devices, and on the Visit Pasadena Facebook page, and don’t forget to check out the detailed info on The Rose Examiner at The Insider’s Guide and Tournament of Roses Calendar.

Dole Packaged Foods gives employees a taste of Hawaii and the Rose Parade

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Every year, Dole Packaged Foods gathers its employees in the Fiesta Parade Floats barn right next to their float, and gives them a party that spans the holiday season. The event was held on Dec. 11, and was attended by both Santa Claus and the Tournament of Roses Royal Court. We dropped in for some photos, conversation, and a delicious luau, including haupia, a Hawaiian dessert. Check out the photo gallery below for snapshots of the fun.

The 2017 Dole float, “Spirit of Hawaii,” features three important and very different figures: King Kamehameha I, founder of the Kingdom of Hawaii; Pele, goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes; and Sebastian, the parrot who rode with the late Raul Rodriguez on floats he designed. In the six years Dole Packaged Foods has entered the Rose Parade, the floats have won five Sweepstakes and one Director’s Trophy. The 2017 entry is designed by Stanley Meyer. It has a working volcano and four real waterfalls flowing down the side of the mountain and cascading from a floral bridge. Dancers, including a fire dancer, and drummers will accompany the float as outwalkers and on the bridge.

We spoke about the float with Monica Spiro, Associate Manager of Events for Dole, and Dave Spare, Vice President, Marketing, about the community involvement of the company. It’s a tradition for some of the riders to be the children of Dole associates, and this year, Spiro’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna will be aboard. Spiro said the company tries to match the parade theme in the float design. The 128th Rose Parade theme is “Echoes of Success.”

“‘Spirit of Hawaii’ makes sense, since the company started in Hawaii,” she said. She brings the float theme into the party with elements that will be fun for the families, which can be seen in the photo gallery. It’s a way of sharing the Dole vision and heritage with the associates and their families. All associates are invited, and about 250 came to the luau.

“It’s really nice, because it’s a way for associates who can’t go to the parade to experience the float,” Spiro said. Another way is for associates to participate in decorating the float. Fiesta Parade Floats brings the giant plumeria, that will encircle the float like a lei, to the company headquarters in Westlake Village for associates to decorate with rice, and about 15-20 people will come to the Irwindale barn to decorate. Part of the entryway is dedicated to the float, with animal sculptures from previous floats and photos of the floats.

“It’s a way to touch, see, and feel the float,” she said. “We try to look at all the different ways people can experience this.”

Dole is also part of Live on Green, a pre-parade event with activities, displays, food, and entertainment. The company sponsors a food booth where Dole Whips can be purchased, the special treat usually available only at Disneyland. Dole has sponsored the Tiki Room for 40 years, and even reserved the room for a national meeting, where dessert was served.

“We want everyone to have a good time and have fun,” Spiro said. “There’s something for everyone.” And, she added, “Sebastian is still in front” on the float.

Dave Spare shared Dole Packaged Foods’ commitment to aiding non-profits that help people in need. The president and CEO of one of those organizations will ride on the float on Jan. 2. Food Share, the largest food bank in Ventura County, receives millions of pounds of healthy food from Dole every year, Spare said. The food is still within its expiration date and includes frozen, canned, and prepared items and 99 percent of Dole products are non-GMO.

“We were way ahead of the GMO movement,” Spare said. “On the float, all the fruit is non-GMO. It’s more expensive, but [consumers] are getting purer fruit.”

In addition to products and cash, Dole employees volunteer thousands of hours each year to charity work, including Food Share, Spare said. He volunteers at Ventura County Rescue Mission. Employees can take time off work for volunteering, so they don’t have to use vacation days.

If the company works to create  community spirit among its US employees, it helps to create a community overseas. Spare said the Dole Packaged Foods operation in the Philippines is the largest in the world, but there’s a lot of poverty in that country. Dole has built roads, schools and hospitals, and offers free medical care and free schooling. With an increase in hiring, there is a shortage of housing, so the company built 74 homes this year and plans to build 72 next year.

“The employees help to build them,” he said. “It’s like Habitat for Humanity.” Spare has worked for Dole Packaged Foods for 20 years, and he said the other vice presidents have worked 15 to 30 years. “It’s just a great company,” he said.

Rose Parade Royal Court dazzles at Macy’s fashion show

Rose Queen Victoria sings with the girls from Temple City High School Brighter Side Singers. When she has time, director Matt Byers told us, Tori performs with the group. She has a lovely voice!  All photos copyright 2016 Laura B Monteros

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

qc-lbm-fashionIn fashions from casual winter wear to evening dresses, the seven members of the 2017 Tournament of Roses Royal Court dazzled the crowd at Macy’s Pasadena on Dec. 7. Each outfit was chosen to complement the girl’s style and personality, as well as to push the latest line from the department store. Celebrity stylist Daniel Musto was the emcee.

The members of the Royal Court are Rose Queen Victoria Castellanos and Rose Princesses Audrey Cameron, Maya Kawaguchi Khan, Shannon Larsuel, Autumn Lundy, Natalie Petrosian, and Emi Powers. For profiles of each young woman, “Meet the 7 young women on the 2017 Rose Parade Royal Court.” Each girl modeled three outfits. Read the captions in the album below to see which ones were their favorites! We got the opportunity to talk to parents Fred Powers (Princess Emi) and Dori Larsuel (Princess Shannon) after the show. They both were impressed with the personal growth of their daughters in the past two months.

“I’m amazed at how she’s handling this,” Powers said, noting the time commitment of school college applications (Emi would like to go to Syracuse for broadcasting), and the duties of the Court.

“Shannon has wanted to be on the Court since she was 5,” Larsuel said. She shared the suspense of Shannon’s being the last girl to be called at the announcement of the Royal Court. The girls are announced according to height so the balance will be right for photos, and Shannon is tall. Since then, she said, “it’s been an exciting, joyful experience.” Larsuel added that Shannon is trying to balance school, Court activities, and college apps.

“The Tournament is so wonderful,” she said. “They truly treat them like princesses. The training they receive is over and above what the average person would get.” Later, Princess Natalie affirmed Princess Maya’s opinion that the Queen & Court Committee members “are our aunts and uncles.”

Photo: Queen & Court chair Richard De Jesu with Q&C member Carole Swemline. Swemline said there are annual reunions for the Royal Courts.

 

A joyful coronation of the 99th Tournament of Roses Queen Victoria Castellanos

The 2017 Tournament of Roses Royal Court: Princesses Shannon, Natalie, and Maya; Queen Victoria; Princesses Audrey, Autumn, and Emi. c.2016 LB Monteros
The 2017 Tournament of Roses Royal Court: Princesses Shannon, Natalie, and Maya; Queen Victoria; Princesses Audrey, Autumn, and Emi. c.2016 LB Monteros

by Laura Berthold Monteros

There could hardly be a Rose Queen with a more expressive face than Tori Castellanos. The shock and tears when her name was read as 99th Tournament of Roses Queen on Thursday evening, the huge smile when the she received the crown and roses, the seriousness displayed as she repeated the Queen’s Oath were spontaneous and heartfelt. That ability to quickly switch between joy and seriousness, to show her emotions on her face, is quite charming. With family, friends, schoolmates and teachers on hand to cheer, the celebration was truly a joyous event. Here’s how it happened.

Back to the beginning

An air of excitement and anticipation rippled over the patio on Oct. 20 as people waited for the doors of the historic Pasadena Playhouse to open for the announcement and coronation of the young woman who will reign over the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 2, 2017. The seven members of the Royal Court were escorted down the red carpet into the auditorium by white-suited members of the Queen & Court Committee. And then, the doors swung open. Let’s enter that door as if we didn’t know yet that Victoria “Tori” Cecilia Castellanos received the Mikimoto pearl crown.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery at the end of this article. It tells a lot of the story, and at the end, just for fun, there are a few shots of Tori in performances with Temple City High School.

Continue reading “A joyful coronation of the 99th Tournament of Roses Queen Victoria Castellanos”