Q&A with a former Daffodil Princess
Posted on April 15, 2017
The 2017 Daffodil Parade is this month and will roll along Pacific Avenue in Downtown Tacoma. In its 84th year, the parade is not only a Puget Sound tradition, but a time to groom and spotlight the best of the best in the Pacific Northwest. Bonney Carpenter is a former Daffodil Princess (Wilson High School) and a good friend of mine since middle school. She took the time out of her busy schedule to talk to Puget Sound Professionals about her Daffodil Festival experience.
PSP: Tell us about your experience as a daffodil princess. Why did you decide to get involved?
Bonney: My parents grew up in Puyallup. My mom picked daffodils as a kid and we would go to the parade each year- it was a big deal to us. When I heard they were selecting a Daffodil Princess I said, “Why not? What would it hurt?” To be princess you had to meet certain criteria like GPA, be a senior, have no felonies. I loved it because they would teach you things like etiquette. Every Saturday I would have to wear closed toe shoes, nylons, my hair had to be back or done up. I had to learn how to sit and cross my feet, not my legs, how to talk and no hair clips could show. It was the little things that you may or may not know.
PSP: It’s been nearly 12 years since you were a Daffodil Princess, do you use any of those lessons today?
Bonney: I always try to present myself well and I learned that as a kid, but the classes really polished me. Like how to sit at a table properly, I use some of that stuff still today.
PSP: Speaking of requirements, participants could not have ever been married or have children. Do you think that’s too strict?
Bonney: No, I think you should strive to do your best because when you’re a Daffodil Princess things get very busy. If you were already struggling in school or with other responsibilities and you decide to do the festival, you’re out of school a lot, you’re focusing all your time on the festival and not necessarily your homework, it’s pretty demanding.
PSP: What’s the pageant like? Was the competition intense?
Bonney: There were maybe 5 princesses my year. At Wilson we had to do a speech focusing around the theme, “Dreams come alive in 2005.” We also had to talk about what we wanted to do when we grew up and then answer an impromptu question at the end.
PSP: What were some of your responsibilities as a Daffodil Princess?
Bonney: We do a lot of performances like at th Elks Club and the different local clubs like Kiwanis. We’ll go to elementary schools and do performances. We had to learn a dance, it was like show choir where we had to sing and dance and the kids loved it. Sometimes we would read to them too. The parade is a blast, you see your friends and family and little kids come up to you and want to be a princess.
PSP: What did you take away from the Daffodil experience?
Bonney: Being on time. Now I’m always 15 minutes early as oppsose to being exactly on time. I also met my best friend from the pageant. We met as Daffodil Princesses, went to the same college and became roomates. We worked at the same companies twice, I was in her wedding and she was in mine. There are bits and pieces that you take away but the biggest thing is friendship.
PSP: What did you end up doing after High School?
Bonney: I attended Saint Martin’s University (SMU) and graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Community Services & Criminal Justice on December 2008, Magna Cum Laude. After graduating from SMU, I purchased my first home in December of 2009 where I continue to reside. In 2014, I graduated with my Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington and was privileged to be accepted into the Phi Alpha Honor Society. With my education, I became an employee with the Department of Social and Health Services, Children’s Administration, where I have worked in various positions to include Child Protective Services- Family Assessment Response Worker, Child and Family Welfare Service Worker, and currently a Foster Home/Relative Home Licensor. At this time, I am pursuing my clinical social work license in hopes to open my own private practice in the future.