Maria (Tori) Lopez, class of 2019 was announced as a Rose Festival princess. She has been heavily involved with Tigard High School, and is a member of Sparrow club, Speech and Debate, National Honor Society, and many more clubs and organizations. She is an amazing student as well. But with the Rose Festival coming up, Lopez gets out of school early–today in fact.
A lot goes into choosing the Rose Court. The application process is very selective, and extremely competitive. Each applicant competes not only against girls from her own school, but many others as well. Being a Rose princess also comes with huge responsibilities. Princesses must be active members of their communities. They must have a good work ethic and maintain high grades. It is important that rose princesses be excellent speakers, and overall, outstanding members of society.
As a Rose Festival princess, Lopez is part of an iconic Portland tradition that has existed since 1907. Every year, millions of people from Portland and across the country celebrate the annual Rose Festival, which this year kicks off on May 24 and ends on June 9. Although the festival is full of various activities and ceremonies, the main attraction for many is the Grand Floral Parade, where hundreds of floats, horses, performers, artists, and musicians fill the roads. The Rose Court is an honored feature of the parade, and as a Rose princess, Lopez will be waving to the crowds.
Tigard High School’s The Paw caught up with the local celebrity for an interview:
Why did you choose to run for rose court?
Ms. Hodgson teased me about running for the Rose Court because I [was] homecoming queen. I became curious about it: like what is Rose Court? So that’s why I first applied for it, just because I thought it would be fun to apply for.
What was the process to apply for it?
I had to go through a process where I was competing not only with my high school, but up to ten other high schools. It was really crazy but really fun. It was a great process. I [was] interviewed and [did] a couple speeches. It made me a lot more confident in myself.
How does it feel to be both a queen and a princess?
Truly an honor. I was not expecting either of these things, but it is so much fun. It shows me how much I’m loved, how many friends I have and how much I love all my friends. It’s a blessing.
What’s your favorite part about all of this?
I haven’t done very much with the Rose Court yet, but I have had a couple of radio interviews and those were really fun. The ones that were live were a little nerve wracking, but I had one with a high school that I was just talking with a student, and we were laughing and joking. Interacting with people in my community has been really awesome.
What are you looking forward to the most?
I am really looking forward to getting to know all the other princesses and expanding my network. I’m excited about getting to know the community outside of Tigard, and getting to know Oregon. And of course I’m excited for the tiara and the wardrobe…
What will your duties entail? What are you going to be doing for the next month?
My grades are going to be frozen [and] I’m going to be done with high school on May 1st. I’ll do IB testing, graduation, and prom, but other than that I’ll be traveling Oregon and volunteering. I’ll be showcasing who we are and what we stand for and what we love about our community.
Are there any scholarships involved?
Yes. The Ronald Ragel foundation provides a $3,500 scholarship. They are really generous and they give each princess a scholarship that we can use for our future education. We can use it up until we’re 22 years old.
What is your favorite Rose Festival event?
I keep telling everyone the Grand Floral Parade. I’ve only been to the Grand Floral once, [but] I love it. [I’m looking] forward to the Starlight Parade too. I want to wear glow sticks and dance.