“It’s not a beauty contest.” That’s a phrase one frequently hears, both from the folks involved with the Tournament of Roses and the young women who serve or have served on the Tournament of Roses Royal Court. There’s also an expression, “Beauty is only skin deep,” meaning that true beauty must also be is intrinsic. This is certainly true of the young women Tournament of Roses Examiner has met during the years of writing this column.
Time and again, this writer has been impressed with the depth of character, dedication to community service, and maturity and wisdom of the young ladies chosen to join the ranks of Rose Queens and Princesses. The 2016 Royal Court is no exception. Though all the girls share those qualities, each is an individual, coming from different backgrounds with varied interests and unique personalities. For more about Queen Erika Winter and Princesses Sarah Shaklan, Rachelle Liu, Bryce Bakewell, Regina Pullens, Natalie Hernandez-Barber and Donaly Marquez, read “Rose Parade 2016: Keeping up with the Royal Court” in this column.
The capstone for a member of the Royal Court, after three months and 100 appearances, is the New Year’s Day ride down Colorado Blvd. on the Queen and Court float. As the crowds cheer and friends along the route shout out their names, the 2016 Royal Court beamed and waved and tried to stay warm in 32-degree weather. (Look carefully at the slideshow to see one of the ways.) Then it was off to the Rose Bowl Game and home to their families.
There were special guests of a sort along for the ride in the 127th Rose Parade. One of the opportunities at Live on Green, an event held at the Pasadena Convention Center a few days prior to the parade was a benefit for Union Station Homeless Services. For a $1 donation, people could write their name on a label which would be attached to a rose that went on the Queen and Court float, built by Fiesta Parade Floats.
The theme of the 127th Rose Parade and 102nd Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2016 was “Find Your Adventure.” If you have a question or would like a reply to your comment, please post on Facebook at All Things Rose Parade or email firstname.lastname@example.org.