Festival Starts New Court Tradition by Bridging Communities and Faces a Tsunami Response!
Following the recommendations of the 2007/08 Court Task Force study, the Portland Rose Festival opened its doors to the greater metro area, and a tsunami of applications poured in. A total of 70 girls representing 18 new schools have applied, along with 115 applicants from the 14 traditional Portland schools. Out of that number, 32 applicants are juniors — taking advantage of a new rule that allows 11th-graders to participate for the first time in Festival history.
As the court program begins this transition into a new era even the most optimistic members of the board were surprised by the over-whelming response from the greater Rose Festival community.
“This is a new court program for the new century,” says Leslie Goodlow-Baldwin, Past President and 2009 Court Chair. “Although we may not see all the traditional schools represented, it will still be a traditional court of fourteen princesses participating in this award winning scholarship program.”
Each eligible girl must be enrolled in a 5A or 6A level school, carry a 3.0 grade point average and meet a minimum number of hours of verifiable community service. Applicants must attend one of three mandatory orientation sessions by January 31. Those completing orientation will then go through the selection process in February where they are judged on presentation and character.
Selection of the 2009 princesses will be announced in March. The new queen will be crowned on Saturday, June 6 in the Memorial Coliseum just prior to the KeyBank Grand Floral Parade.