As the city of Pasadena begins preparation for its 120th Rose Parade, PCC can boast of having a presence in the parade’s royal court.Eighteen-year-old freshman Bridget McDonald has grown up in Pasadena anticipating the year she would have a chance to travel the parade route as something other than a spectator. Two years of tryouts later, she has become one of the seven princesses of the 2008 Rose Court.
“I’ve lived in Pasadena all my life and I’ve been to every parade all my life. you [princesses] really are a big part of history. It’s a chance to represent Pasadena on the big day,” said McDonald.
The process of choosing the Rose Court is a strenuous one. Similar to a prime-time reality TV contest, it consists of a lot of people selling in a few words the big reason they felt they deserved to be on the court.
McDonald was forced to make her voice heard over the likes of 1,114 girls and ten boys.
“It wasn’t the first time I had tried out. I tried out last year and only made it to the semi-finals. This year I kind of had an advantage because I knew what the judges were looking for,” she said.
Advantage or not, McDonald is now a name in a long tradition of young Pasadena women who have served as Rose Court princesses, and its no easy gig.
The month before the parade is consistently busy. According to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, Royal Court members attend more than 150 community and media functions leading up to the parade and the game.
“It varies anywhere from one event a day to four or five,” McDonald said.
The princesses, like a scene out of The Princess Diaries, are placed in multiple training programs so that they are prepared for the day in all ways royally possible.
“We have Princess training, etiquette training, model training, media training, and speech training. Its an excellent place for women to grow and find themselves,” said McDonald.