HomeCity NewsLCF Court Takes Debut Stroll in Rose Parade

LCF Court Takes Debut Stroll in Rose Parade

First published in the Jan. 12 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The Miss La Cañada Flintridge Royal Court entered 2023 with a first: They walked alongside the city’s float the 134th annual Rose Parade route — an exciting way to kick off the group’s 50th anniversary.
“This was a lovely partnership and I’d love to see it continue,” said Katherine Markgraf, the Miss LCF Royal Court adviser.
The 2022 Miss LCF Royal Court members who accompanied the float included Queen Erin Carney and Princesses Lena Bolotin, Siran Khachatourian and Amelie Besch.
“I was honored to have the opportunity to represent my hometown while being an out walker with the LCF float in the Rose Parade,” Carney said.
Every year, a combination of young women from the LCF community apply to be part of the Miss La Cañada Flintridge Contest. This year, about 25 applicants went through the interview process. Some of the qualifications include being a female, a full-time resident of LCF and a junior in high school, according to the LCF Chamber of Commerce website.
After the second round of interviews, the finalists are introduced at the Festival in Lights celebration in December, where the final five Royal Court members are announced.
The coronation of Miss La Cañada Flintridge is held during the Installation and Awards Dinner in January. The girls who are selected for the court commit to being representatives of LCF for community events. Their time in the courts ends a year after they are selected and receive up to $500 in scholarships provided by the LCF Chamber of Commerce and Community Association.
Markgraf has overseen the court as an adviser for the last six years and has judged the contest for several years before.
Markgraf developed a bond to the court as a LCF princess herself in her junior year of high school. When she and her husband moved to LCF in 2001, her mom was the head of the Chamber of Commerce, and that’s when Markgraf got involved with the judging process for the court. When the adviser who came before Markgraf became ill and stepped down in 2017, she leaped at the opportunity.
The first contest for the court was held in 1973, when members who are still involved today started its foundation. John Torrey and Nyla Barkley and others in the community came together to organize Fiesta Days, an annual celebration of LCF history. But they wanted more.
“They decided if we are going to celebrate our city, we should have some form of Royal Court, and so, in 1973, they had the first Fiesta Days celebration and the first Royal Court,” Markgraf said.
This year, the 2022 Miss LCF Royal Court made history and walked along the LCF float in the Rose Parade for the first time.
Markgraf discussed the possibility of having the court participate in the Rose Parade with Diane Lombard, a staff member at the Chamber of Commerce, who didn’t know it had never been done before. Although Markgraf tried to make this a reality years ago, there was no agreement to involve the city’s Miss LCF Royal Court.
So, Lombard tried her hand at the challenge and contacted the Tournament of Roses president and vice president to inform them that the LCF court was celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2023 and that this experience would be a great way to kick it off. The Tournament of Roses agreed. Over the last couple months leading up to the parade, the organizations made it happen.
The Miss LCF Royal Court helped decorate the LCF self-built float by gluing flaxseeds onto the raccoon figure and did publicity for the Tournament of Roses.
The court was positioned 50th in the Rose Parade order, which “I think that was pretty precious,” Markgraf said. Additionally, the LCF float won the Mayor Award.
“The last time [LCF] won that was 20 years ago, and that was the last time the tournament had walkers with the float, so it was all just kind of a wonderful synergy,” Markgraf said.
Markgraf now spends her time planning Fiesta Days to introduce the 2023 Miss LCF Royal Court and wants to reach out to previous queens of the court to join in and celebrate the court’s 50-year anniversary.


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