2008 Portland Rose Festival kicks off with Parkrose Princess selection

Even though only one Rose Festival event takes place in outer East Portland, all of our high schools participate in the Rose Court. Meet the lovely young lady who will represent Parkrose in this year’s citywide celebration.

After being evaluated and scored, all four Parkrose High School 2008 Portland Rose Festival Princess Candidates – Toyin Oyemaja, Vy Nguyen, Vivian Ngo, and Holly Ho – await the announcement.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The Parkrose High School Theatre filled on Friday afternoon, March 7, with students, staff, and family members as outer East Portland’s first 2008 Portland Rose Festival event got underway: the selection of the Parkrose High Princess.

From the podium, Parkrose High School Principal Roy Reynolds announces, “Please welcome your School’s 2008 Portland Rose Festival Princess Candidates.”

The curtains sweep back and reveal Toyin Oyemaja, Vy Nguyen, Vivian Ngo, and Holly Ho standing on the stage. The enthusiastic cheering is deafening.

Parkrose High’s 2007 Portland Rose Festival Princess, Margaret Drew, greets the assembly, looks at the official tally card, and announces the name of the young lady who will take her crown.

Parkrose Princess Drew returns
Reynolds asks the throng to welcome Parkrose High’s 2007 Portland Rose Festival Princess, Margaret Drew, to the stage.

“I’m so excited,” Drew says. “In just a few minutes will be announcing your Portland Rose Festival Princess. Thank you so much for all of your support. It has been an amazing experience for me. I’m so happy that you’re taking part in the festival and showing your pride in Parkrose, because we have a lot of good things here.”

Beaming her trademark smile, Drew takes the envelope Reynolds presents to her, opens it, glances at it, and proclaims, “And now, without further ado I’d like to announce your 2008 Rose Festival Princess … is Vy Nguyen.”

Vy Nguyen reacts to hearing her name read – meaning she’ll represent Parkrose High School as their 2008 Portland Rose Festival Princess.

Margaret Drew prepares to crown Vy Nguyen.

The Princess speaks
The gathered assembly stands and cheers. After being crowned, she strolls toward the podium.

“Thank you very much,” says Princess Vy. “I thank the girls in the court.  I think any one of us would have made an outstanding representative for Parkrose.”  She went on to thank staffmembers, family and friends who helped along the way.

Wearing her crown and robe, Princess Vy Nguyen walks to the podium to make her acceptance speech.

Princess Vy pauses for a moment with the school’s principal, Roy Reynolds.

After hundreds of photos are snapped, Princess Vy talks with us, and says, “I’m overwhelmed; I’m not sure what I am feeling, other than I’m phenomenally happy about this.”

Asked to what she looks forward as this year’s Parkrose Princess, Nguyen confides, “I’m looking forward to going to see a lot of places around Portland to which I’ve never been, and meeting new people. I’m sure that becoming the representative for Parkrose High School for the 2008 Portland Rose Festival will have a very positive impact on my life.”

Principal Reynolds comments, “These are all great ladies. I think any one of the ladies would have been a great princess for Parkrose. In fact, all of our princesses, for the last 21 years, made excellent queens, too – but so far, that hasn’t been the case.  Perhaps this is our year!”

Here she is – outer East Portland’s first 2008 Portland Rose Festival princess to be crowned, Princess Vy Nguyen!

The school and organization thanks Terry Franceschi, Theater Operations Manager, and members of the stagecraft class, for a lovely, fitting setting and professional lighting.

Also, thanks go to members of the Parkrose Bronco Boosters Club and sponsors Menlo Park Flowers and Mr. Formal for the floral arrangements and the men’s formal wear.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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