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Wilsonville woman is Queen Thelma finalist


In 1914, The Portland Rose Festival held a special public election. After millions of votes were cast, 17-year old Thelma Hollingsworth edged out the competition to become the first elected Queen of the Rose Festival.

Now, 100 years later the Rose Festival is once again holding a special election in honor of that occasion. Event officials are inviting the public to vote on one of three candidates to historically recreate Thelma in all her regal splendor for the 2014 Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade.

The three Queen Thelma Finalists are Marisa Pieper of Wilsonville, Adeena Wade of Battle Ground and Shelby Hansmann of Portland. The trio will be presented to the public on May 10 during the Vaudeville Rose variety show at the World Trade Center auditorium in downtown Portland. Vaudeville Rose is free to the public.

One hundred years ago, people purchased votes at 10-for-a-penny, and Thelma Hollingsworth won with 2,274,055 votes. This year, the public will vote with pennies again. Starting May 10, big penny jars will be on site at the Vaudeville Rose Variety Show where voters may deposit their pennies. The jars will then move to the lobby of the Rose Building on Naito Parkway for accepting votes during business hours. On May 23, the jars will move to the Rose Festival Museum Store at CityFair, where they will collect votes through the close of voting May 30.

The finalist with the most pennies in her jar will be chosen to portray Queen Thelma. The announcement will be carried live on KPTV Fox 12 on May 31. All funds collected will be donated to the Knight Cancer Challenge, the Rose Festival’s official charitable cause. All three finalists also will receive scholarships.

For more information visit http://RoseFestival.org.