West Linn's Emma Waibel crowned Rose Festival's 100th Queen
West Linn High School Junior Emma Audrey Waibel has been crowned the 100th Rose Festival Queen during a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland on June 7.
Waibel, 17, was the first West Linn student selected for the Rose Festival court after the event opened the court to suburban high school students. She is the Metro East representative on the 15-member court. She also wore a crown in 2011 as a princess on the West Linn Old Time Fair court.
After joining the Rose Festival court in March, Waibel said the experience was overwhelming.
It has been amazing, she said. I cant walk down the hallways (at school) without someone saying congratulations. I feel loved and honored that I get to be the first person from West Linn.
In her festival princess speech, Waibel said she enjoyed the Rose Festival traditions but connected more deeply with the smell of freshly cut wood and WD-40.
You see, I am a fifth-generation lumberjill, a descendant of the Rhinestone Logger, but I call him Grandpa Bob, Waibel said. You may be wondering what a lumberjill is and what we do. Lumberjills compete in logging shows and participate in events such as crosscut sawing, axe throwing, chopping and log rolling.
Many of my family memories consist of traveling to logging shows in northwest communities; communities with their own traditions, and distinctive flavor. I have memories of catching fish at the Morton Loggers Jubilee, and sawing with my dad at the Brownsville pioneer picnic.
I love the sense of pride, and togetherness each city we visited had, all coming together over their own traditions to make new memories. It reminds me so much of our City of Roses, unified over our iconic Portland Rose Festival.
Waibel said she hoped to attend college to pursue a career as an event planner or creative director.
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Royal Rosarian is also an LO Rotarian
Mark Smiths duties as prime
This years prime minister of the Royal Rosarians that nattily dressed group who serve as the official greeters and ambassadors of goodwill for the city of Portland is none other than Mark Smith, a member of the Downtown Lake Oswego Rotary Club.
As such, the Sherwood resident was in charge of not only knighting 51 honorees Friday morning as part of the Royal Rosarians' annual ceremony, but also personally crowned this years queen, Emma A. Waibel, a 17-year-old West Linn High School junior.
As prime minister, Smith, 65, is the top dog when it comes to overseeing 282 Royal Rosarians, notable for their fancy white suits and cream-colored straw hats. Hes been a member of the Royal Rosarians for 17 years, having been sponsored by a friend from Rotary.
Headed up the Columbia Gorge for a well-deserved break after the weekends exhausting events, Smith said that other than getting married to his wife, Bobbie, and being commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy, his duties as prime minister were one of the major highlights in his life.
And the queens coronation was the pinnacle of those duties.
You know, the coronation was really something, he said. It was wonderful.
It was also highly significant because it was the 100th such coronation.
Smith also was impressed with the diversity of those knighted Friday. Among them were Nancy Hales, the wife of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales; Joey Webber, the chainsaw-wielding mascot of the Portland Timbers who is known to fans as Timber Joey; and Mike Irwin, head of Homeland Security for the state of Oregon.
Smith said what also made the weekend special was the fact that both his grandchildren, Grace, 9, and Sam, 4, were able to accompany him during the Grand Floral Parade ride through downtown Portland. He especially got a kick out of the fact that Sam, who is a cancer survivor, was wearing an identical white suit and cream-colored hat.
He would doff his hat along with Grandpa, said Smith. That was really a special day.
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