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.