The Tournament of Roses named Temple City High School senior Victoria Castellanos as the 2017 Rose Queen at the annual coronation ceremony Thursday night at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Queen Victoria is the 99th Rose Queen and was crowned following a month long selection process with nearly 1,000 hopeful young women that competed for the prestigious title.
“It feels unreal. It feels magical, but also like a dream. Looking back I never thought I would make it so to be here with my friends and family feels surreal and amazing,” said the excited, newly-crowned Rose Queen Victoria.
Rose Queen Victoria and her Royal Court will attend nearly 100 community and media functions, acting as ambassadors of the Association and the Pasadena community at large. Their reign will culminate on Monday, January 2, 2017 with the 128th Rose Parade following the theme “Echoes of Success.”
“The Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game are the world kickoff for the new year, and Queen Victoria and the six Rose Princesses are true representative of the valued traditions and distinct backgrounds that make Pasadena and these celebrations so special,” said Tournament of Roses President Brad Ratliff.
The Rose Queen and Royal Court were selected based upon a combination of qualities including public speaking ability, poise, academic achievement, community and school involvement.
“They truly are Echoes of Success coming from the cultural richness of our community. Not only will Queen Victoria and the Royal Court be wonderful ambassadors, they eagerly await to meet many in our community to exchange stories about their own Echoes of Success as they bring to January 2nd and America’s new year’s celebration.”
Rose Queen Victoria Cecilia Castellanos is a senior at Temple City High School and lives in Temple City. Castellanos has been a part of Brighterside Singers since her sophomore year and has been in five Temple City High School musicals. She volunteers with the Pasadena Humane Society and the America Legion in Eagle Rock. She plans to study English, musical theater and Japanese with hopes of attending Amherst College or Smith College, according to a press release.
“She’s very personable, she’s very kind and she’s very sweet. She felt that it would be one of the other girls. She never thought that she would make it past round one. We’re just so proud of how she did this,” said mother Rachel Lasota.
Castellanos is the first in Rose Queen from Temple City to take the crown since 1975, according to a Tournament of Roses staff member.
“I’m looking forward to everything especially since I’ll be with my six new sisters,” said Castellano.
The Rose Princesses are: Audrey Mariam Cameron, Blair High School; Kawaguchi Khan, Arcadia High School; Shannon Tray Larsuel, Mayfield Senior High School; Autumn Marie Lundy, Polytechnic School; Natalie Rose Petrosian, La Canada High School; and Lauren Emiko Powers, Arcadia High School.