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A dozen Rose royalty at July 2 parade

It will be a first-of-its-kind reunion of at least a dozen women who represented Arcadia as a Rose Queen or Princess over a 60-year span when they return to be showcased in the Arcadia’s Best Patriotic Festival parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 2.

1949 Queen Virginia Bower Nichols.

Queens and Princesses covering at least five different decades have already confirmed appearances, including 1949 Queen Virginia Bower Nichols, who is coming to Arcadia from Walnut Creek near San Francisco for another ride in a parade, this one in her former hometown.

“Arcadia was my home from age four until my marriage in 1950,” during which she wore her coronation dress, she says, as did her daughter at her wedding. And it must have been good luck because Nichols has been married for 60 years.

A Princess from 1954-55, Susan Quarness James, will be coming all the way from Montana and will ride in a 1928 Ford Roadster provided by Dick Anderson of Arcadia.

They will be joined by more recent Rose Queens Courtney Lee (2009) and Natalie Innocenzi (2010), as well as 2010 Princess June Ko, all of Arcadia.

“The Rose Court experience was nothing short of extraordinary,” says June Ko. “I am very excited and honored to participate in Arcadia’s Best Patriotic Festival!”

Others joining the special festivities include 2001 Rose Princesses Crystal Uribe and Nini Wu; 1996 Rose Princess Sarah Clinton Edgington; 1988 Queen Julie Myers King; 1987 Rose Princess Diane Welch Sears; and 1951 Princess June Roan Patterson. Three others are also hoping to attend: Melissa Villagagran Kaliel (1991), 1987 Queen Kristin Harris McDonald, and 1980 Princess Linda Wieczorek.

Additional members of this elite group are encouraged to join this celebration of Arcadia royalty that will feature each Queen and Princess getting their own spotlight in a separate special vehicle riding on First Avenue from north of Duarte Road to Bonita Street just north of First Avenue Middle School. A group photo will be taken to commemorate the special occasion. Royalty from the Arcadia floats in the Rose parade for many years are also invited to participate.

Arcadia’s Best Patriotic Festival has been unanimously approved by the Arcadia City Council and is supported by the City of Arcadia and the Arcadia Police and Fire Departments.

This is the second event created by Arcadia’s Best Foundation following last fall’s One Community, One Book program featuring a program and discussion of the 50th anniversary of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Arcadia’s Best Foundation founding partners are Sho Tay, Carol Libby, and Scott Hettrick.

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