Katie Lipp and Elizabeth Woolf planned to try out for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court since they were children.
The girls, both 17 and seniors at La Cañada High School, called the process a rite of passage in the community. But they didn't plan on being selected.
“You're going against thousands of girls,” said Elizabeth. “We never expected the odds to be in our favor.”
The girls are part of the seven-member 2014 Royal Court. On Wednesday, they rode atop of the 35-feet-long Macy's float, perched next to elegant rose gardens.
Before the parade, the girls said they were excited about being a part of the annual New Year's tradition.
“We’re taking the ride of a lifetime,” said Elizabeth. “It’s surreal.”
Both girls said that they were able to manage their studies with Rose Court appearances, thanks to accommodating teachers at La Cañada High.
Katie, who intends to study art after high school, said being a Rose princess has been a great learning experience.
“I learned a lot about who I am as a person,” she said.
Elizabeth, who is interested in studying business after high school, also said she feels changed after attending dozens of events with the members of the court.
“For me, this experience has been once-in-a-lifetime,” she said. “It gives you confidence. It gives you the ability to speak in front of hundreds of people.”