In preparation for its upcoming Golden Age of the Camellia celebration in February 2010, Descanso Gardens is actively searching for former camellia queens and princesses of the 1950s who presided over the elaborate pageantry surrounding the winter-blooming flower.
Descanso organizers are finalizing plans for this new festival slated Feb. 20 through Feb. 27, which will celebrate the signature bloom of the Gardens. Some events for the upcoming Golden Age of the Camellia include: fairies leading tours of camellia forest for children and a presentation of "Charles Phoenix's Retro Slide Show of Southern California" with a tribute to the former camellia queens.
Much like the queens and princesses of Pasadena's Tournament of Roses today, the camellia queens of Descanso's past represented the Gardens at local community functions.
Overall, camellias have been an integral part of Descanso since founder E. Manchester Boddy first planted camellias in 1935 and, subsequently, built a successful commercial camellia plantation which provided blooms to the cut-flower industry and helped make camellias the blossoms of choice for corsages worn by fashionable ladies of the era.
Today, Descanso is home to the largest collection of camellia plants - 34 ,000 plants on 20 acres - in North America.
Former Descanso camellia queens should contact Brenda Rees at (818) 949-7984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.