In an evening of tradition and traditions reformed, Ana Marie Acosta was crowned as Rose Queen for the 125th Tournament of Roses. President R. Scott Jenkins announced the name of the 96th Queen to screams of delight on Thursday night at First Church of the Nazarene Pasadena (PazNaz).
Queen Ana, who aspires to become a surgeon specializing in neurology, told us that her friends at Poly had been very supportive. Asked if having a Rose Queen is a victory for Poly, a school that doesn’t send many girls to the Rose Court, she replied to us graciously that her schoolmates were very excited.
A talented equestrian, Queen Ana has been accepted into the United States Hunter Jumper Association’s 2013 Emerging Athletes Program. She rides City Slicker, a Holsteiner trained for show jumping.
Queen and Court Committee chair Alex Young told us that Thursday’s coronation was the first time anyone other than the members of the Committee and the president and his wife knew the name of the young woman who will reign over the Royal Court, made up of Sarah Elizabeth Hansen, Kayla Diyana Johnson-Granberry, Jaime Ann Kwon, Katherine Diane Lipp, Elyssia Hadi Widjaja and Elizabeth Katie Woolf. The announcement of the Rose Queen has traditionally been made several days before the coronation, but in a move to have a more exciting event and include people from the general public for the first time, the two were merged.
Return to this column for a photo gallery and an interview with the longest-serving and most recent Rose Queens.
The girls came onstage individually on the arm of a Queen and Court member, dressed in red formals but sans tiaras, and spoke briefly with emcee Michaela Pereira of CNN (formerly of KTLA Morning News). After the announcement of the Queen, all seven went backstage to receive their tiaras, or, in Ana’s case, change into the white gown of the Rose Queen.
At the top of a flight of stairs on the chancel of PazNaz, each Princess met her father and was led down to the proscenium. At last, Queen Ana took her father John’s arm, and her place front and center. Pres. Jenkins placed the Mikimoto crown on her head, and followed with the reading of the Rose Queen oath.
A new way of doing things
There was much more excitement and tension in the evening air at PazNaz than at the somewhat staid luncheons of the past at the Pasadena Convention Center, and decidedly more friends and family members of the Court attended. The venue was a nicer-looking location, and the curved wall more amenable to the three large video screens that played live coverage of the event. A video of the “Road to the Crown” showed the process of choosing the Court from the first tryouts through the weekend in Balboa. The usual slideshow of photos throughout the girls’ lives played as each girl was announced.
The answers the girls gave to Pereira’s questions seemed much more rehearsed, more pat, than in previous years, and Pereira had to look up above the balcony to read the teleprompter. During the time the girls were getting their tiaras and changing, a video of the past year was shown, and the emcee vamped. While the timing seemed to be on schedule, the downtime between the announcement of the Queen and when the Court reappeared was a bit long, and the oath, which has not been read at recent ceremonies, was quite wordy.
Overall, it seems to this reporter that the Tournament achieved the goals Scott Jenkins shared with us, and in the future, some of the organizational glitches should be smoothed out.
A mention goes to the PETA protesters, who stood at the entrance of the parking lot, watched over by two Pasadena Police officers. There was a person dressed as an Orca and six to eight other demonstrators holding signs and peacefully protesting.
The theme of the 125th Rose Parade and 100th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2014 is “Dreams Come True.” The Tournament of Roses is a celebration that lasts several weeks in the fall and winter. Like All Things Rose Parade on Facebook or subscribe to Tournament of Roses Examiner by clicking the "Subscribe" link for the latest news and for upcoming announcements. If you have a question or would like a reply to your comment, please post on Facebook or email me at email@example.com