Monday, June 18, 2012

Short break and something about Cornflowers

It's been a long time since I've posted, through nobody's fault but my own.  I have a few weekends free from my Steuben Princess duties though, so I will use that free time to catch up and write posts about all the events I've been to (with pictures).

So far, after the crowning and dress fitting, I've been to 4 events in 3 weekends.  It's been a blast, but it's going to be nice to have a short break and a weekend where I don't put hundreds of miles on my car (or my parents' car).  I'm pretty sure Spartacus, my cat, will be happy to have me home more too!

Some of you may not know, but a big part of our job is to sell Cornflowers (not real ones) with ribbons that have the parade date on them.  They're unbelievably popular and many people buy at least one every year and have built up quite a collection.   Why the cornflower?

I took this bit straight from Wikipedia: "The cornflower is the official flower and the logo of the German-American Steuben Parade of New York City, as it widely grows in both Germany and the United States. Also, the color blue symbolizes friendship and hope. In addition the Cornflower was the national Flower of Prussia since its introduction by Kaiser Wilhelm I to honor his mother Queen Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and because of its color (prussian blue)"

Unfortunately, something happened and none of the groups have gotten their orders of cornflowers yet.  We had a few to sell for the first couple of events, but we ran out of those quickly!  They were a hot item even though we had to raise the price to $2.  Luckily, we have armbands ($2) (like the livestrong bracelets - I have to say, I'm surprised those never totally went out of style), pins ($3), stickers ($1), and iron-on patches ($3).  We also have raffle tickets that are $5 a piece or $20 for a book of 5.  One of the prizes is a round trip for 2 to Germany!  There are 6 other prizes too, including a nice dinner for 4, dinner for 2 and a cookbook, a silk scarf, and a really pricey fountain pen!

While I'm on my mini-break from my duties, please let me know if you're interested in buying a raffle ticket or anything else.  Or come to some of the future events!  The next one will be German Night at Eisenhower Park in Nassau County, NY from 7:00pm - 9:30pm on Monday, July 9.  Hope to see some of you there!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dress Fitting #1

Today was the start to a busy weekend for the Steuben Parade Court.  It was also the day of our first dress fitting!  All the female members of the court, young and old(er), wear fancy gowns for the Steuben Parade and some other events, so we all need to be fitted.  The 2012-2013's Court's year is really getting started now!

My weekend really started with gathering up everything I needed for the weekend in my apartment: my laundry, clothes, makeup, computer, phone, my white dress, and of course my crown and sash (which I almost forgot - oops!).  Then it was time to get the last piece of "luggage" - my cat, Spartacus.

Such a problem to get in the carrier, but he definitely enjoyed the ride
I drove down from the middle of CT and got to my parents' house, where I'm staying this weekend because it's closer to New York.  After a short rest, my mom and I walked to the train station and rode in to Grand Central.  From there, it was a short walk, maybe half an hour, to RK Bridal, where we were getting the dress fitting done.

I was a little early and the few people I talked to who worked there seemed confused as to why I was there, so I waited a little while.  I've never been to any sort of dress fitting for myself or for anyone else, so it was kind of fun to be able to watch some brides-to-be trying on gowns (though, like most other females and some males, I've seen it a million times on wedding shows).

Not long after I arrived Kirsten, the Queen, got there.  The 3 older girls all actually ended up coming in for it not only on the same day, but at the same time as well, which was a nice surprise.  We already knew the designer and brand of the dress we needed to try on (the same as last year's court had - the one on the right), so we let one of the saleswomen know and she went to find it.  Just about as she came back with a short red version of the dress for us to try on, Nicole, the 2006 Miss German-America showed up to help us.  Kirsten went to try on the dress while I filled out my information and Kyra, the other Princess got there about then.  Kirsten modeled it shortly, then it was my turn to try it on.  We each tried on the dress and got our measurements taken.

Then we hit a small snag.  The 3 of us range in height from around 5'7" to 5'10" or so and all agreed that extra length would be a good idea, especially if we wear heels.  But that dress doesn't come in extra length!  So, Nicole and her friend who works at RK Bridal did some brainstorming and found a very similar dress by a different designer.  I would post a link to a picture, but I cannot remember the style #, so I guess it'll just stay a surprise!  Kyra tried it on and we all agreed it was a beautiful dress.  So now we'll just have to wait!

While there, we all got to talk some and get to know each other a little better.  I found out that Kirsten and I are both Gold Award Girl Scouts!  I'm sure we'll all find a lot more connections and similarities throughout the year.  We all exchanged phone numbers and went our separate ways.

My mom and I spent some more time in the city though.  We first went to Payless and I am so excited to have found some white ballet flats that I can weird in lieu of heels to some of the events.  I learned the hard way during the crowning ceremony that heels aren't always fun.  My brother, who lives in the city, met us for dinner and we went to a nice restaurant/tavern near Grand Central.  We all got gelato in Grand Central and then my mom and I headed back on the train.

The day ended with us stepping out onto a dry train platform, walking under the overpass, and seeing the rain starting.  We walked back home sharing an umbrella and though the rain got us a bit, we got inside just before the real downpour started.

Now I've got a day off to relax a bit before things take off.  Our first event, the Gottscheer Volkfest, is Sunday, June 3 at Plattduetsche Park in Long Island from 1:00pm - 5:00pm.  I'm really excited because the Foehrer Musik Freunde will be playing!  My Opa comes from Foehr, my Omi met him there, and I'm a member of the Foeher & Amrumer K.U. Verein.  It ranks as one of my top few favorite places in the world.  I'm always excited to see others connected to any of the Friesian Islands, because it's such a unique part of Germany and such a close-knit and unique community there.  I can't wait for Sunday in general!

If you're around Long Island or looking for something to do this weekend, come by!  I'll write about events at least a few days beforehand on here to keep everyone updated.