Yesterday in the Portland Coliseum, an annual event took place with all of the majesty and pomp that Portland can muster. It may not be quite up to an English coronation, but here in Portland it takes on its own special meaning. It is the crowning of the new Rose Queen, an event that happened right before the start of the 100th Grand Floral Parade. Little did Kate Sinnott from Central Catholic High School know quite what would be in store for her in a few moments and what I am sure will be a significant event in her life. Behind her are four of the Queens court form 50 years ago.
The announcement is made and the other princesses rush around her as joy can clearly be seen in her face.
To get a feel for this young woman, just read what she wrote about the person she admires the most:
My dad: “It’s the three words no one wants to hear. It’s the three words that numb you and make you weak at your knees. ‘I have cancer.’ My dad has touched many peoples’ lives. I remember a particular time we were walking around downtown Portland when a homeless man walked up to us and told me how my own dad helped him in so many says, and how lucky I am to have him. Moments with my dad have become even more precious after the cancer was discovered. Just as he did for the homeless man, my dad has reached my heart. He showed me what is important without even saying it out loud. He is my best friend, my hero, my dad.”
Another excerpt from her speech made me smile.
Imagine yourself at a rock concert. The moments where the lights come on, the crowd goes wild, and you realize everyone is there for the same reason. The crowd moves back and forth as if they were one. The Portland Rose Festival is just like this. A collection of diverse people come together to celebrate something they all have in common, the City of Roses. As Portlanders we drink too much coffee, we don’t pay sales tax, we root for teams like the Trail Blazers and the Timbers. We bike in the rain and are just your average hippies. We are not like any other city, we are weird in the best way possible.
And so she begins her first official duty appearing in the 100th Grand Floral Parade.
Congratulations Kate. Long live the Queen!
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