First ‘Queen of Rosaria’ in decades from Madison High

Find out who was surprised to hear her name announced as the Portland Rose Festival Queen for 2013 at this year’s Coronation Ceremony …

Along with 2012 Queen of Rosaria Kate Sinnott, the 2013 Portland Rose Festival Princesses, along with the scepter and crown bearers, pose for a group photo before the Queen’s Coronation program begins.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The sixteen 2013 Portland Rose Festival Princesses looked excited, and a bit nervous, as they posed for the group photo with 2012 Queen of Rosaria Kate Sinnott.

Their enthusiasm mounted, as they lined up for individual introductions by the Masters of Ceremonies to the 2,000 people attending the Queen’s Coronation ceremony in Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, an hour before the Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade.

Madison High School Princess Hanna Rice (center) waits in line to introduced at the Portland Rose Festival Queen’s Coronation.

Each candidate, including Princess Hanna, speaks briefly, telling about one of the activities in which they participated since becoming their schools’ representative.

Then, 2012 Portland Rose Festival Kate Sinnott performed her last duty – handing over the envelope containing the name of this year’s selectee.

Silence fell over the arena as everyone awaited the official selection announcement.

Madison High’s Princess Hanna Rose Rice shows her surprise at being named 2013 Portland Rose Festival Queen.

17-year-old Hanna Rose Rice covered her face in her astonishment, when learned she’d just become the third Madison High School student ever – and the first in 39 years – to be selected as Queen of the Portland Rose Festival.

On her way to alight upon the Queen’s Court parade float, Queen Hanna held a brief press conference.

Queen Hanna Rose Rice receives a gift from Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.

“I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am for this opportunity to represent Portland, and to represent my school,” she began. “I feel so honored.”

When she heard her name announced, Queen Hanna recalled, “It kind of felt like I was floating. It seemed like time stopped for a moment. I know that any of the girls would have been a fantastic Queen.

“It has been 39 years since a Queen has been chosen from our school.  I am so grateful to be the one to ‘break that streak’, and, as I travel, to show everyone that Portland Rose Festival is for all of us.

“I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity. It’s still sinking in. I am so happy.”

Flanked by her parents, Lynnelle Neitzel and Glenn Rice, 2013 Portland Rose Festival Queen Hanna Rose Rice speaks holds a press conference.

Atop the Queens Float, 2013 Portland Rose Festival Queen Hanna Rose Rice rides in the Grand Floral Parade through Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum.

The Madison High graduating senior plans to pursue a career in theatre, education, or psychology – perhaps mulling those choices as she represents the Portland Rose Festival during the coming year.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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