Queen chosen this year moments before Grand Floral Parade began
Portland Rose Festival's 2006 Queen turned out to be 18-year-old Grace Neal of Cleveland High School. She was crowned at Memorial Coliseum Saturday morning, June 10th, at 9:20 am, surrounded by family and friends. Dignitaries present for the ceremony included Mayor Tom Potter, Portland Rose Festival Association President Rita Bladow, 2005's Queen Katelyn Callaghan, and the white-suited Royal Rosarians.
Following the ceremony, and after a quick live TV interview, Queen Grace climbed up to the highest tier of the 'Rose's Restaurant and Bakeries' float to lead off the 99-year-old festival's 'Southwest Airlines Grand Floral Parade'. As the float passed by, thousands of dedicated parade-goers learned for the first-time who had been selected from the 14-member court.
A twelve-season athlete on her way to a career in journalism, Grace's hobbies are writing and running. Grace is involved in several community service programs, and helped create and record radio public service announcements for 'Oregon Partnership to Raise Awareness About Underage Drinking'.
Queen Grace has also helped out at the School Police Division and Safety Patrol Picnic, and has mentored freshmen at Cleveland. A lifeguard, Grace has also worked at the Southwest Community Center during the winter. She participated in the soccer, cross-country, basketball, and track teams at Cleveland, and was a three-time Scholar Athlete.
A senior class delegate, National Honors Society member, and co-section editor of the CHS Clarion newspaper, Grace received the East Portland Rotary Club scholarship. She plans to attend the University of Oregon, major in journalism, and pursue her career at a magazine or other periodical.
Queen Grace, as were all the other high school Ambassadors, was awarded a $3,500 scholarship, courtesy of Randall Group, which has donated to the Rose Festival court scholarship program since 1997, as well as courtesy of Standard Insurance.