Press Release from Rose Festival:
PORTLAND, Ore. - In 1914 The Portland Rose Festival held a special public election and after millions of votes were cast, 17-year old Thelma Hollingsworth edged out the competition to become the first elected Queen of the Rose Festival. 100 years later the Rose Festival is once again holding a special election in honor of that occasion and inviting the public to vote on one of three candidates to historically recreate Thelma in all her regal splendor for the 2014 Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade.
Voting for the 2014 Queen Thelma is going to be Old School! A hundred years ago, people purchased votes at 10-for-a-penny, and Thelma Hollingsworth won with 2,274,055 votes. This year, the public will vote with pennies again! Starting May 10, big penny jars will be on site at the Vaudeville Rose Variety Show where voters may deposit their pennies. The jars will then move to the lobby of the Rose Building on Naito Parkway and accepting votes during business hours. On May 23, the jars will move to the Rose Festival Museum Store at City Fair through the close of voting May 30.
The finalist with the most pennies in her jar will be chosen to portray Queen Thelma. The announcement will be carried live during the PGE/SOLVE Starlight Parade telecast on KPTV Fox 12 on Saturday, May 31. The funds collected will be donated to the Knight Cancer Challenge, the Rose Festival's official charitable cause. All three finalists will also receive scholarships.
15 local women auditioned for the role of Thelma via online video presentations and Wednesday the Rose Festival announced the names of the three finalists on its Facebook page.
The three Queen Thelma Finalists are:
Marisa Pieper, Wilsonville Oregon
Adeena Wade, Battle Ground Washington
Shelby Hansmann, Portland Oregon
The finalists will be presented to the public on Saturday, May 10 at a free event, the Vaudeville Rose variety show, a live stage production at the World Trade Center auditorium. All three finalists will portray Thelma in short skits taken from Thelma's life. Vaudeville Rose is free to the public. The winner will appear in the 2014 Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade to celebrate the centennial of our first elected queen. She will ride on a float sponsored by The Oregonian.
The Rose Festival Living History program is supported by donations from: The Royal Rosarian Foundation, the Poznanski Family Foundation and the Portland General Electric Foundation.
Check out the Rose Festival Facebook page at: facebook.com/PortlandRoseFestival. For all Rose Festival events and information visit RoseFestival.org