Centennial’s Grace Ramstad, has been competing for the past couple of weeks as Rose Princesses for the upcoming Rose Festival, a celebration widely enjoyed among the people of Portland.
Being a Rose Festival Princess typically is associated with riding the floats at the annual parade held downtown, but that job entails so much more. The court as a whole represents the liveliness of the city and actually the Princesses go around to local communities and participate in volunteer work and reach out to those in need. The focal point on joining to be on court is to focus on relationship building-both with fellow court members and members of the community.
Aside from the bonds made, if one were to be Rose Queen, a $3,500 scholarship would be the prize, as well as a full wardrobe provided by the Rose Festival association. “It’s not as much about the prizes as it is the intrinsic value, though,” Ramstad says.
“I’ve learned [through the competition] that all programs are looking for someone who fits their program. Someone who is willing to commit their time and is the type of person they’re looking for. It’s like going to basketball practice, doing your homework, going to work… but in heels. It’s all about balance, not your merit,” she added.
Currently Ramstad is waiting to hear if she will be considered a finalist. She has currently made it through two rounds of speeches and interactions with judges, but more is yet to come in the competition.