Parkrose High kicks off the Rose Festival Princess ‘reveals’


Meet Princess Natalie, the 2021 Portland Rose Festival Parkrose High School representative …


2021 Portland Rose Festival, Parkrose High School, outer East Portland, David F. Ashton, COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic, Queen’s Coronation, Washington Park, Rich Tran, Natalie Mathers, Alexi Payton-Rivas, Mo’nay Vann, Brenda Ortegon Breceno, Karen Salman, Jessica Metteer, East Portland News, Princess Natalie, Sacramento Elementary, Parkrose Middle School, University of Oregon, Clark Honors College


-1 Instead of feeling the energy created in the Parkrose High School Theater in outer East Portland, as it filled with students and staff – this year’s Portland Rose Festival Princess began, as many online meeting do, with this slide. Zoom image capture by East Portland News

By David F. Ashton

Last year, the Portland Rose Festival began with a bang, as a couple of outer East Portland high school Princesses were announced. But, as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic swept over the land, the Portland Rose Festival Foundation (PRFF) scrambled to keep any semblance of the Rose City’s springtime tradition alive.

Parades, concerts, festivities – all were cancelled, one by one. And the Queen’s Coronation was delayed until mid-August, and then took place on a sweltering day in the International Rose Garden in Washington Park, with no parade to follow.

This year, the PRFF announced in March that once again this year, no public events would take place. This included the announcements of the students selected to represent their schools as a Portland Rose Festival Princess.


-2 Parkrose High School’s Rich Tran introduces the school’s Court. Zoom image capture by East Portland News

Parkrose High School’s Princess introduced, online

On At 3:30 p.m. on March 30, during a Zoom online meeting, the Festival’s first Princess was revealed.

Parkrose High School (PHS) Rich Tran introduced members of the school’s Court. They were Natalie Mathers, Alexi Payton-Rivas, and Mo’nay Vann – all seniors.

2020 PHS Princess Brenda Ortegon Breceno joined the group, and told how the experience, even as truncated as it was, has helped her grow as an individual. The group was introduced to their Unitus Community Credit Union mentor, Karen Salman.


-3 PRFF Special Events Manager Jessica Metteer shows the envelope she’s about to open, before reaching inside to announce this year’s Parkrose High Princess. Zoom image capture by East Portland News

Then, PRFF Special Events Manager Jessica Metteer opened the officially sealed envelope, to discover and announce that Natalie Mathers had been selected.

“Thank you so much; I’m so excited to represent Parkrose this year!” Princess Natalie told those watching online.

After the ceremony, Princess Natalie told East Portland News, “For me, the most important thing to represent [to the community] about Parkrose High School is our sense of community and inclusion.

“At Parkrose everyone is welcome, no matter what your background is, and I hope to carry that kindness and inclusion into the Rose Festival this year,” she said.


-4 Congratulations to 2021 Portland Rose Festival Parkrose High School Princess Natalie Mathers. Zoom image capture by East Portland News

Parkrose High’s representative is a local resident, having attended Sacramento Elementary and Parkrose Middle School.

Princess Natalie had an active life in sports, scholastic groups, and music, until the onset of COVID-19.

As a member of the 2021 Rose Festival Court, Princess Natalie will receive a $3,500 scholarship provided by The Randall Group to help her attend the University of Oregon –  Clark Honors College in the fall.

“For my career, I’m considering pursuing education, although I am also [considering] law and becoming a lawyer,” Princess Natalie remarked.

Find out more about what’s happening at this year’s Portland Rose Festival by visiting their official website: CLICK HERE.

On our Front Page: 2021 Portland Rose Festival Parkrose High School Princess Natalie Mathers – our East Portland News this photo of her.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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