by Claire Milligan
Tulip Time 2019 is already in the making with the Tulip Court being selected on Saturday, November 10. Of the 12 girls nominated, Abby Te Grotenhuis, Isabella Baugh, Taryn Hugen, Mary Kate Bandstra, and Emma Stravers represented PC. At the end of an emotionally and physically exhausting night, Bandstra and Baugh were selected for the 2018 Tulip Court and will represent the city of Pella throughout this coming year.
Whether selected for the court or not, all the girls enjoyed their experience interviewing and performing, as well as making a couple new friends. “A lot of the girls I hadn’t seen since I was very young in dance classes, so it was so much fun to get to know them a bit better now,” said Stravers. “They were all so sweet and kind, and we all really enjoyed the day together.”
Te Grotenhuis found her favorite part to be sharpening her public speaking skills. “Being able to learn how to carry myself with poise, sit through interviews, as well as speaking in front of large crowds were just a few learning experiences that truly benefited me,” she said.
Most of the girls found the hardest part to be waiting. “All 12 of us had given our best performance, and were just waiting for the results, not knowing who was going to make it,” said Stravers. “There was a lot of tension, and nervous energy.”
Others found preparing for the speech to be the most difficult. “I had a hard time just trying to make it sound natural and not mess up,” commented Hugen. “Also just being yourself.”
The girls were busy the whole day of the event. On Saturday morning, they met to do a quick run through of all the presentations. “We got to see the other girls’ stuff for the first time, and it was really awesome to learn some things about them that I hadn’t known before,” commented Stravers.
After rehearsal, they made their way to lunch in Maria’s tea room. “We were able to fellowship with one another over good food and good company,” said Te Grotenhuis.
Later that evening, after short break at home, they were asked personal questions by 33 judges and performed their presentations in front of the crowd. “Meeting with the judges was exactly like having a normal conversation with anyone. They asked questions about everything from our passions to how we would handle a scenario. It was actually a lot of fun,” said Bandstra.