La Cañada senior crowned Rose Queen

La Cañada High School senior Evanne Friedmann was named Tuesday as the 93rd Rose Queen, beating out nearly 1,100 San Gabriel area women to accept the highly coveted crown.

Evanne, 17, will lead her six Rose Princesses in presiding over the 122nd Rose Parade and the 97th Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena on New Year's Day. She replaces 2010 Rose Queen Natalie Innocenzi, a Flintridge Sacred Heart graduate now enrolled at the University of Redlands.

"It is amazing," Friedmann said. "I am honored to be a part of such a long tradition. The Tournament of Roses Committee has been so kind to us, helping us to grow into beautiful young women. We're excited and ready for what is to come."

The announcement was made at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium instead of the traditional setting of the Tournament House due to rain. Nevertheless, the mood was festive inside the ornate ballroom, where Tournament members, family, friends and the requisite group of boisterous Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy students crammed in alongside the Pasadena City College band.

Evanne remained cool and collected after her name was announced, turning quickly to embrace her fellow court members, and then to the media horde that awaited her.

"The theme this year relates to all of us," Friedmann said. "Giving our speeches at the president's dinner, we all referenced the theme, "Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories," and I think we have all lived a dream today."

Brushing away tears, Evanne's mother, Gayle Friedmann, said she was surprised and overwhelmed.

"It has been nonstop, but she has been enjoying it," Gayle Friedmann said. "I've got to say that the Tournament of Roses Committee has been nothing but impressive. It is fabulous for her to have the opportunity to be involved with them."

Serving as the 2011 Rose Queen fits perfectly with Evanne's childhood nickname, said her father, Kurt Friedmann.

"When she was a baby she would always keep us up at night and we would always call her Evanne-11, because she would never close," Kurt Friedmann said. "So it is perfect that she would win this year."

A La Cañada Flintridge resident, Evanne is a member of National Charity League, the National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation. She has been a Girl Scout for 13 years, sings with the high school concert choir and serves as the senior class videographer.

Evanne's graciousness and natural leadership made her standout, said Ed Afsharian, chairman of the 2011 Queen and Court Committee.

"She was a very bright and charming young lady," he said. "They are all charming, and it is very hard to pick one, but that is what we have to do."

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