The Tradition Continues as Festival Evolves to Meet Pandemic Challenges
Twenty-five community volunteers will form five panels of online meeting rooms, Saturday, March 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to virtually interview students from 31 area high schools for the 2021 Rose Festival Court presented by Unitus Community Credit Union. The Portland Rose Festival Foundation is committed to maintaining the feel of the traditional in-person panel experience that provides the students with that real world interview environment, while utilizing the technology of the internet.
“We've been working virtually for nearly a year now, and have learned a lot from this online environment we're all living in,” says Contesa Diaz-Nicolaidis, Co-Chair of the Rose Festival Court. “It is a new approach to a traditional program, but the Rose Festival is evolving. We have a good plan in place with Zoom, so we’re ready to go. We know the community panels will be inspired by these amazing young women, as they are every year."
Court committee members and staff organized an online interview system with separate interview rooms on Zoom. With the help of more than 40 volunteers, including many Royal Rosarians, they held a successful dress rehearsal Wednesday night.
The finalists will be posted Sunday, March 7 after 10:00 a.m. on Rose Festival social media sites. The scores from Saturday's community interviews will be combined with student votes to determine the final 15 princesses, with each earning a $3,500 Scholarship generously provided by The Randall Group. The 2021 Court members will be announced each weekday starting Monday, March 29 through Friday, April 16. The 2021 Queen's Coronation presented by Unitus Community Credit Union will take place in June.