by Sydney Hooyer / firstname.lastname@example.org
PC seniors Molly Bolt and Jocelyn Gritters were announced as part of the 2020 Tulip Court on Saturday, November 16. The other three spots on the court were filled by seniors who attend Pella Community: Courtney Chaplin, Ellie Roorda, and Hannah Kendall as queen. As these five girls look forward to the next year, they all expressed excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to serve the town of Pella. “I am really glad to represent our town, and it means a lot. I love the culture and traditions behind Pella, and I love sharing them with everyone who will listen. Overall, I’m extremely excited for this opportunity to be a representative for Pella,” Gritters said.
The city of Pella’s annual Tulip Time consistently draws in around 175,000 tourists who desire to see the beautiful Dutch town and try some of the tasty treats. Serving as ambassadors for the town of Pella, the Tulip Queen and her royal court sing Dutch songs, dance around in wooden shoes, and tell people all of the good things Pella has to offer. Although being on the royal court may sound easy and enjoyable, once selected, they have a busy schedule, and there is a tough process of elimination to obtain the honored position.
Senior girls who live in Pella may be nominated by anyone in the town. Next, the girls who have chosen to commit are listed in the paper where the community of Pella is then welcome to vote. The twelve girls who received the most votes must prepare to give a presentation and participate in interviews with 35 judges.
This is often stressful for participants who want everything to go perfectly. “I prepared by practicing my speech literally any little bit of free time I had. I said it to myself in the shower; I would say it while driving instead of listening to the radio; even when I was in public and there was a little bit of free time, I would run through it in my head,” Bolt said.
The twelve girls spent the whole Saturday polishing their speeches and preparing for interviews. Although seven of the girls who tried out did not end their night as part of the court, their day was still enjoyable because of the time they spent together. “I loved this experience! I got to meet so many new friends and honestly had a wonderful day. Even if I wouldn’t have gotten chosen, I still would’ve loved to participate simply because of the people involved,” Gritters said.
After a busy Saturday full of talking, presenting, and stressing, the girls’ duties as the royal court have only just begun. Throughout the next year, the royal court will visit many places in order to encourage people to attend Tulip Time. The girls will be busy year round as they visit schools, appear in parades, and much more. In fact, their duties have already begun.“We already were measured for our costumes and wooden shoes. Our first official appearance is the first week of December in the Sinterklass parade, so we are basically kicking off right away,” said Bolt.