PASADENA (News4usonline) – Bella Ballard had that look of total shock when she heard her name announced at the Tournament of Roses 104th Rose Queen. The senior student at The Ogburn School had a total unexpected gasp and began sobbing with joy as she was surrounded by other members of the Royal Court as they congratulated her on being the chosen one.
“I’m extremely excited to continue this amazing tradition and be the 104th Rose Queen,” Ballard said after the moment.
The 2023 Royal Court is lined up with six other talented individuals who very easily could have been named the Rose Queen. Making up the seven-member Royal Court are Ballard, Adrian Crick, Salia Baligh, Zoe Denoncourt, Uma Wittenberg, Michelle Cortez-Peralta, and Sahanna Rajinikanthan.
As soon as the announcement left the mouth of the 2023 Tournament of Roses President Amy Wainscott, Ballard was readily embraced and hugged by the other members of the Royal Court. Ballard is excited to be an ambassador for the Tournament of Roses.
“I think it’s an amazing opportunity to not only represent the Tournament of Roses but be an ambassador for the city of Pasadena and help the community in any way, shape or form that we as a Court can,” Ballard said.
The Rose Queen announcement winds down a long and arduous process for the Tournament of Roses committee, which took Royal Court applications from as many as 30 Pasadena area high schools. The Ogburn School in which Ballard attends is located in Altadena, California, just on the outskirts of Pasadena.
The Tournament of Roses annual Rose Parade is a global event with participants coming from all over and being viewed all over the world. The 2023 Rose Parade also coincides with the 109th Rose Bowl Game. The Rose Queen and the Royal Court are expected traditionally makes appearances at the Rose Parade as well as at the Rose Bowl Game.
Each member of the 2023 Royal Court will receive $7,500 to go towards educational opportunities. In the case of Ballard, she will be taking her college agenda to Yale University. A volunteer soccer coach with Chelsea Football Club, Ballard wants to study economics, law and astrophysics.
Dennis is the editor and publisher of News4usonline. He covers the NFL, NBA, MLB, racial and social justice, civil rights, and HBCUs. Dennis earned a journalism degree from “The Mecca” aka Howard University. “I write on what I am passionate about.”