Princesses to light up Strawberry Days Festival
Post Independent Intern
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Next weekend, the 114th annual Strawberry Days Festival will introduce more than 40 young, beaming girls as the first-ever Strawberry Princesses.
“I want to be a princess because princesses can shine real, real bright,” said Halie Holmes, 9, of Rifle. She said she is most looking forward to the pageant, “because we get to walk from the stage and show how beautiful we are.”
With the goal of boosting the confidence of these girls, the Strawberry Princess Celebration is not a contest, according to event organizer Lorie Beattie Courier. It is open to all girls between the ages of 5 and 10 who wish to be celebrated in song on the FamilyFest Stage and wave to the community in the Strawberry Days parade.
Beattie Courier envisions the Princess Celebration as a way for girls to understand how exceptional they are. Her inspiration for the event is the children she encountered – in her 36 years of teaching – who struggled with low self-esteem.
“In general, it is to help children realize that they have something to offer, because each child is so unique and wonderfully made,” she said. The Strawberry Princess Celebration is one way to appreciate one-of-a-kind children and help them appreciate themselves.
The expectation is for girls to feel honored on stage. Beattie Courier hopes to turn this into a tradition for Strawberry Days. In future years, she hopes the Strawberry Princess Celebration will feature as many as 100 princesses and make a difference in more girls’ lives.
Jessica Hahn, 9, of Glenwood Springs, is one of Beattie Courier’s piano students who is planning to participate as a princess. Beattie Courier said Jessica could hardly focus on her lessons for the past month due to her enthusiasm to be a Strawberry Princess.
“I’ve always wanted to be a princess. I love princess dresses and I think this will actually be my chance to feel like a princess,” said Jessica.
On Thursday, the princesses will commence their reign together as they decorate their float for Saturday’s parade. They’ll have the chance to shine on stage as the opening act for the Miss Strawberry Days Fashion Show, at 5 p.m. on Friday.
On Saturday, they will ride their float in the Strawberry Days Parade. Immediately after the parade, each princess will be presented on the FamilyFest Stage, wearing their Strawberry Princess shirts.
The event has drawn positive feedback from parents of the girls and community members.
“The parents and the grandparents have been so excited,” Beattie Courier said. “They know how unique and special their child is, but this is just a way to honor them at a greater community level.”
The Strawberry Princess Celebration is sponsored by Edward Jones Financial Advisors Jay McGlade and Hollis Kelley Jr., Once Upon a Child, Something Sweet Candy Plus, S2m Construction Co., Colorado HVAC and anonymous donors.
To check on availability of additional openings for princesses, contact Lorie Beattie Courier at 948-3827.
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Policy that dictates what for-profit activities should be officially sanctioned within Glenwood Springs parks is being reviewed by city staff and will likely come before the city council for final approval later this summer.