2023 Rose Court

Harini Devaguptapu, Staff Writer

The 2023 Rose Court announced its seven members on Oct. 3, including Sahanna Rajinikanthan, Salia Baligh, Bella Rose, Yaeko Ballard, Michelle Cortez-Peralta, Adrian Crick, Zoë Denoncourt, and Uma Wittenberg.

After a one month selection process between 1,000 applicants, 28 people were chosen as finalists. Out of those 28 people, Arcadia High School (AHS) seniors Navya Kannan, Sydney Yee, and Sahanna Rajinikanthan were selected.

From the 28 finalists, seven members were chosen, and Sahanna Rajinikanthan was chosen from AHS as a princess.

On Oct. 25, Bella Ballard was announced as the 104th Rose Queen. Many people gathered to witness this traditional event that’s been happening for many years. 

The Rose Court serves as ambassadors for the Tournament of Roses who attend around 100 community and media functions. All the princesses present themselves in the annual Rose Parade on their Royal Court float. They also attend the Rose Bowl game on New Year’s. 

The princesses all went through a process to get accepted. Participants were required to fill out an application in order to attend the initial interview session. Those who made it through the application process then passed through initial interview sessions in front of the Queen and Court Committee at the Tournament House, which is presented by Citizens Business Bank. Interviewees spoke for 15 seconds to introduce themselves and explain why they wanted to join the Rose Court. 

During the interview and selection process, Rajinikanthan recounted how she “did not really think much about it. [She] had this mindset that whatever happens is okay and that [she] is just going to take this process as a learning opportunity.” 

When Rajinikanthan heard her name get called as one of the final members of the Rose Court, she was “over the moon to hear [her] name getting called, because that was something that [she] had not been expecting.” “I feel extremely happy and grateful to have been given this opportunity,” she continued.

Members were chosen from the Pasadena school area, and Rose Court officials considered various qualities such as public speaking ability, youth leadership, academic achievement, and community and school involvement. The selected princesses also receive a $7,500 educational scholarship. 

Being a part of the Rose Court gives princesses many opportunities to help the community. Rajinikanthan also adds how her favorite part about being on the Court is being able to do “a lot of hands-on work and meet new people who help shape the community as a whole.”

Everyone chosen displays admirable characteristics and shows commitment and care to their family, friends, and community. There are many people who look up to the members of the Rose Court as inspirational figures. 

Rajinikanthan recounts that when she was a young girl, she would “go to the parade every [year] and [she] would see the princesses and queen and they were an inspiration to [her]. [She] is really glad that [she] gets to be that kind of person to young girls around the world.”

Being on the Court surrounded by amazing people makes the process quite fun. Rajinikanthan tells us how the six amazing girls have, “literally become [her] best friends in such a short span of time. [They] see each other almost everyday and they are [her] support system.”


Photos courtesy of the Rose Parade