Steamboat Springs When Mary Rose was told she had been selected as queen for the 96th annual Winter Carnival, she was too shocked to believe the news. Having never been a Winter Carnival attendant or even a little princess, Rose never thought she'd be selected.
"I thought they were joking, and that's a pretty mean joke," Rose said.
The queen and her royal court will be honored at Winter Carnival's opening ceremonies at Olympian Hall, and they'll also assist at some of the celebration's events such as the soda pop slalom. Look for them in the parade down Lincoln Avenue, too.
Rose, a 17-year-old senior at Steamboat Springs High School, will be joined on the royal court by her attendants, Michaela Frias and Erika Walters.
Rose and Frias are on Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's Nordic team. Walters is on the national telemark team and said she occasionally participates in Alpine ski races.
Walters, a 17-year-old high school junior, said she has been participating in Winter Carnival in one way or another for years - from handing out ribbons at the soda pop slalom as a teenager to sailing off the donkey jump at the street events when she was little.
The queen and her two attendants represent the kind of athletes the Winter Sports Club aims to produce, and the nominations allow Winter Sports Club an opportunity to recognize the young women and their achievements in front of the community.
Coaches, athletic directors and other Winters Sports Club staff recommend a Winter Carnival queen and attendants, but the board of directors chooses who wins. The criteria include scholarship, sportsmanship and prior involvement with Winter Sports Club and Winter Carnival.
It has always been a female-only segment of the event. There is no male court.
According to Sureva Towler's "The History of Skiing in Steamboat Springs," naming a Winter Carnival queen became a tradition 93 years ago at the third annual event.
The little princesses for 2009 will be Ryli Adrian, Mia Cook, Annie Hager, Gala Katthian, Liv Mason, Kenzie Radway, Macy Reisman and Maisie Wagner.