First published in the Nov. 4 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
In a much-welcomed return to tradition, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses ceremony came up flush, recently crowning the 103rd Rose Queen Nadia Chung of La Cañada High School and revealing an elated court of young women full of grace and camaraderie.
Taking the stage with the 2022 Royal Court are Pasadena Princesses Jeannine Briggs, of John Marshall Fundamental, Abigail Griffith, of Pasadena High, and McKenzie Street, of Flintridge Sacred Heart, beamed in the spotlight and showed off the public speaking skills they’ve honed since being named local royalty last month.
The coronation ceremony was held outside the iconic Tournament house’s expansive lawn with a slimmed down audience, a nod to the ongoing precautions against the spread of COVID-19. The Tournament’s court announcement was canceled last year, along with the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, due to the pandemic.
During an interview with event host Lynette Romero of the KTLA 5 Morning News, the seven young women reflected on the intensive weeks leading up to the coronation. All told, they will attend about 100 events this year, often missing classes while still keeping up with schoolwork and college applications.
The ceremony followed a monthlong selection process, starting with applications from students throughout 24 Pasadena-area schools. Ascending to the court is based on a combination of qualities, including public speaking ability, academic achievement, youth leadership, and community and school involvement.
For the next few months, the court and queen will serve as ambassadors of the Tournament of Roses, the Pasadena community and the Greater Pasadena area. Court members experience numerous benefits: becoming part of an organization dedicated to hands-on volunteerism, discovering opportunities to give back to the local community, developing public speaking skills and growing self-confidence. Each Royal Court member will receive a $7,500 educational scholarship from the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.
The 2022 Royal Court will ride down Colorado Boulevard on the court’s float in the 133rd Rose Parade and attend the 108th Rose Bowl Game, both on Saturday, Jan. 1.