The Rose Parade and Picnic in the Park

Back at it again after a busy weekend!  This past Sunday we celebrated the Rose Festival and attended the picnic in the park, this is a local tradition that started 59 years ago!  The Rose is our official flower, and the rose festival is a Spring/Summer event that celebrates all of the wonderful things that Jackson has to offer.  Jackson MI, is known for its abundant and beautiful parks, lakes and waterways,  recreational resources and of course roses.

A little more history for you… For decades, Ella Sharp Park, community and residential gardens have cultivated the rose.  In 1931, the rose was chosen as the official flower of Jackson and we became known as “The Rose City”.

Ella Sharp Rose Garden

In 1958,  The Jackson County Rose Festival was inaugurated with The Jackson County Rose Parade, followed by The Jackson County Rose Queen Pageant in 1960.  The Parade is a celebration for local organizations to honor and reward individuals and groups. The Parade allows schools, scouting troops, churches, civic organizations and businesses to promote a positive image of themselves and the Jackson area. The Rose Parade is one of the largest in Michigan with over 100 entries each year.Over the years, various Rose Festival events complement the Parade and Pageant including the Picnic in the park event featuring a good old fashioned pie eating contest!

Rose Parade Jackson MI              Pie eating contest 1962

The event has not changed much since it inception, the route changed slightly for a couple of years and reverted back to the original location in honor of the 50th anniversary. However the picnic in park, and pie eating contest have held strong and still take place today!

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So why the history lesson, well… our daughter Brianna was in the parade this year as Miss Teen JTV, proudly driven down the parade route with her Mentor Celia Napoletano, by none other that her very proud Dad, and big brother. It was truly an honor for one of our kids to be a part of such a wonderful community event.

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How bout a pageant update! 

So last time I updated on the pageant world we had just gotten our head shots back and we’re preparing for Gala…

Gala is an evening dinner event for the girls, their families, and the sponsors. It is at this event that the ladies are paired with their sponsors for the pageant. It is a very exciting night for the girls. As a reminder our daughter Brianna is one of the top ten contestants competing for the title of Miss Jackson County Teen USA. She has a very good friend, Celia Napoletano, who is competing for the title of Miss Jackson County Rose Queen. These pageants are part of the Miss USA competition and if they win they will move on to the state level competition for their respective age groups.

Brianna and Celia have grown up together in the pageant circuit, and they were both so badly wanting to be paired with the same sponsor. As each teen contestant is paired with a Miss contestant as a mentor through sponsorship….Hopefully I’ve connected all the dots here lol.

Gala did not disappoint! Celia is now Miss JTV and so of course Brianna is now Miss Teen JTV!

I am so immensely proud of these two! And I know they will do a great job representing JTV, owned and operated by Bart and Karen Hawley.

Since the gala, the contestants participated in a sash making party. Preparing hand made sashes to display during the Rose parade this coming weekend.

And…We went shopping for gowns!!! My favorite part lol!

She did choose a favorite but I’m not letting cat out of the bag just yet. Stay tuned! Up next her appearance tomorrow on JTV, and the Rose Parade!