Fiesta royalty give behind-the-scenes peek at Battle of Flowers

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Camilla Bright Brusenhan, Queen of the Court of the Argentine Republic shows off her cowboy boot to the crowd during the 126th Battle of the Flowers Parade “Blazing Trails” April 28 on Broadway. Photo by J. Del Valle

Princess and queen say social responsibilities help prepare them for careers.

By Elena Longoria

By 9:30 a.m. April 28, pre-pharmacy freshman Catherine Lee Classen had officially entered pre-princess mode.

The Battle of Flowers parade would begin in a few hours.

Classen, a student at this college, was serving on the court of the San Antonio Lutheran Coronation.

Wearing comfortable shorts and a T-shirt, she stood at the top of the float, covered with multiple umbrellas to prevent people from watching her do her makeup.

The float, parked on Grayson Street near the Pearl, was extravagant. It was decorated with blue and white flowers and had sparkles everywhere.

Classen woke up at 5 a.m. to make sure everything was ready to go.

“We bring the float and get it ready, also our parade hair, put sunscreen on and get hydrated,” Classen said with excitement.

This process might be a little new for her, even though she has been duchess for the same organization two consecutive years.

This is her first year as a princess.

She was elected princess at coronation night.

That is when all duchesses vote for a princess and the board has the final vote.

“We made sure we were very active in our community, gone to multiple events and raise ads for our coronation event,” Classen said.

The aspiring pharmacist believes being social is important in her career, and she has achieved that by serving as fiesta royalty.

“I didn’t like public speaking; I was introverted, and going to all these events has gotten me out of my comfort zone,” Classen said.

At the parade the princess, the queen and many volunteers are in charge of getting the float ready.

There are other staff members to help them with hair or makeup.

She is aware that people might look up to her, and she takes her duties as a role model very seriously.

“Be nice to everyone. Positivity can get you through anything,” Classen said.

Also this year, the Queen of Fiesta waved to the crowd to show her multicolored and sparkled dress decorated with jewels and glitter.

Camila Bright is a sophomore at Texas Christian University studying child development with a minor in Spanish.

She dreams of being an occupational therapist.

Now that she is the Queen of Fiesta, she says it has helped her reach that goal by connecting with children 
and going to different schools to meet kids from all over Texas.

“We get to travel to different schools; yesterday, we went to seven different elementary schools and one assisted living home,” Bright said.

Her float was under the U.S. Highway 281 surrounded by about eight people trying to ask her questions or take pictures with her.

She was in the lower part of her float, which was decorated with glitter and multicolored paper to match her dress.

Her responsibilities as queen teach her things that can’t be learned in a classroom.

“You learn with textbooks (how to be an occupational therapist), but it is meeting all the children that truly gives you the experience,” Bright said.

Being queen is not as easy as it seems, and there’s a lot of work that gets put into it.

Bright was voted to be Queen of Fiesta by The Order of the Alamo organization.

Bright likes being part of the event even when it takes a long time to get ready.

“We wake up really early, but every bit of it is fun,” Bright said.

“We get to give back to the communities and get involved in different organizations,” Bright said.

Many girls walked up to the queen to ask for a picture or to simply ask questions.

Fiesta royalty seem to have many girls looking up to them not only for their beautiful gowns but for the important role they play in the event.

This year the royalty theme was “Kindness,” and that is the message the queens and princesses wanted to send.

“Kindness doesn’t cost anything,” Bright said. “If there is a new kid in school, walk up to them and make them feel welcome,” Bright said.


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