West Linn High School Junior Emma Audrey Waibel was crowned the 100th Rose Festival Queen Saturday morning during a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
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 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 Rhinstone 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.
Kate Hoots with the West Linn Tidings contributed to this story.