The Portland Rose Festival has been a celebrated Portland Institution for more than 100 years. Unitus has been helping people in the Northwest for 80 years. We are proud to join efforts with the Portland Rose Festival, sponsoring this unique event in 2018 for our fourth straight year.
The Rose Festival provides outstanding young women an extraordinary opportunity to challenge themselves and cultivate relationships with successful professional mentors. Becoming a Princess is a life-changing experience that sets the stage for continued future successes.
Applications for Festival Court Princess are open until December 13
Click here to apply! Or send this link to a bright young high school Junior or Senior woman you know!
What does it mean to be a Festival Court Princess?
We asked Madisyn Montgomery, one of last year’s finalists for Rose Festival Queen. Here she discusses what’s involved in the process, her favorite part of the experience, and what surprised her the most.
Why did you choose to become a Princess?
I chose to apply for the Rose Festival when I was ten as a brownie in girl scouts holding the banner for a float near the Princess float. The moment I saw them line up with beaming smiles and a flowing gown, I asked my mom who they were.
She told me all about what they do like volunteering, going on weeks of travel, meeting really cool people, and so much more. I knew I had to be a part of it.
I mean what could be better than dressing up with a bunch of sweet and silly girls visiting happy people to celebrate an amazing event?
What was involved in being a Princess?
In being a Princess, I left the last five weeks of school to travel across Oregon bringing the Rose Festival with me and 14 other incredible princesses.
Aside from the information we brought, we made real connections with senior citizens, homeless families, children, students, cowboys, and more.
As a court, we shared inside jokes, impromptu singing, sleepy bus rides, and fancy desserts. We felt like sisters, going through this experience together.
What was your favorite part about your time as Princess?
My favorite part about being a Princess was gaining the unique opportunity to meet Mayor Wheeler. He wasn’t polished or rehearsed like the many public figures we imagine but genuine and lighthearted.
He had a welcoming presence that inspired me to embrace my personality in whatever career path I choose instead of conforming my qualities to a stereotype.
What surprised you most about the experience?
What surprised me most about the experience was my subconscious expectation for making my parents proud. I didn’t realize how much I valued their commendation for my success until I didn’t achieve it on my last days of travel post coronation.
Of course, I had and will always have their love and support. But not becoming Queen was a tough experience, at first feeling like I let a lot of loved ones down.
Now, I’ve realized I have so many dreams ahead of me that are still achievable that I am determined more than ever to make them a reality. Regardless of the outcome, I’ve grown stronger as a person because of it and I’m grateful for that.
Tell us what you would say to someone thinking about applying for the Portland Rose Festival Princess.
Whether or not you become Queen, try your hardest. If you win, congratulations! Soak up every moment, and make the most of the short time you have to make memories and collect contacts.
If you don’t win Queen, or even Princess then the experience wasn’t meant for you. There will be another opportunity waiting for you, maybe one even better.
No matter what, celebrate your efforts and the skills you gained in preparation. From that alone, you’ve progressed immensely as a public speaker. Be proud of that and don’t lose sight of the exciting things before you. Good luck! 🙂
Posted By: Jacob Schnee
About the Author: Jacob joined Unitus as Marketing Specialist in March 2015 and transitioned to Marketing Communications Specialist in March 2017. His experience has spanned hospitality, business development, consulting, and marketing in various industries along the east coast, west coast and in between. When he is not developing internal and external communications for Unitus, he is engaging in recreational fitness, studying personality types and exploring the outdoors with his wife and dog.