Living History

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The Search for Thelma
Bring your Pennies – Voting has begun!

The Rose Festival is looking for a young woman to portray the first elected Rose Festival Queen, Thelma Hollingsworth, to celebrate the centennial of Thelma’s reign during this year’s festival events.

In 1914, Thelma Hollingsworth was a 17-year-old clerk in a railroad office when her boss asked her to become a candidate for Rose Festival Queen. Little did she know that after an exciting campaign for election, she would receive more than two million votes and be catapulted into Rose Festival history!

Queen Thelma

The Rose Festival has found three delightful young women looking to be a part of Rose Festival history by portraying our first Queen. Each finalist will receive a scholarship and the one selected to play Queen Thelma will ride on The Oregonian float in this year’s Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade.

Just like our original Thelma, they will be looking for your support by voting with your pennies. Voting will open right after the Vaudeville Rose Variety Show on Saturday, May 10 where each finalist will play Thelma in a skit inspired by scenes from her life as the first Rose Festival Queen. Voting will continue at the CityFair Museum & Store and continue through May 31 when the winner will be announced on live TV during the PGE/SOLVE Starlight Parade. Proceeds will go to our official charity the Knight Cancer Challenge.

Meet the Three Finalists in the Search for Thelma!

Click each finalist’s photograph to watch a video of her performing a scene from Thelma’s election.

Marisa Pieper

Marisa PieperMarisa goes to Wilsonville High School and also loves to sing. She is currently training in Italian Opera! Watch Marisa perform “Thelma at Work” in which she is asked be the Harriman Club’s candidate for Rose Festival Queen.


Adeena Wade

Adeena WadeAdeena is currently attending Clark College with plans to transfer Washington State University. She loves photography and is a volunteer for the Battle Ground Rose Festival float. Watch Adeena perform in “Counting the Votes” in which the winner of the election is announced.


Shelby Hansmann

Shelby HansmannShelby goes to David Douglas High School and coaches (and competes in!) gymnastics and loves theater and singing in the choir. Watch Shelby perform “Rose Planting in San Francisco” in which Thelma is on a her good will tour as Queen of Rosaria.


The Living History Program is made possible by grants from the Poznanski Family Foundation, the Royal Rosarian Foundation and PGE. Thank you!