It has been a wonderful summer, but as the hot sunny times begin to come to a close, so does our busy, fun-filled summer season as Cowichan Lake Ambassadors.
It is hard to believe that it has already been three months since our crowning in early June, but so far, it has been an exhilarating journey for my fellow ambassadors, Marigold Arbic (Cowichan Lake 2nd Princess), Madisyn Young (Cowichan Lake 1st Princess), and I (Cowichan Lake Lady of the Lake). Travelling to different parts of BC and down into Washington state representing Cowichan Lake has been a real honour this summer, and doing it all with my beautiful princesses has made it all the more enjoyable.
We started our summer off with a bang at the exciting Canada Day celebration in Sidney. We were featured in their annual parade, wearing our crowns and banners out of town for the very first time. The amount of people who came out to show their Canadian patriotism was overwhelming! Looking out from on top of our float, there was a sea of red and white as far as we could see. This parade was a great first opportunity for the three of us to get to know each other better, grow as a team, and get that royal wave just right. We later returned home to join in the festivities at Mesachie Lake, saying a few words and cutting the cake. Overall, our first official day as an ambassador team was a long one, but we had so much fun nevertheless.
Our next event was Duncan Daze on July 12. It was only our second parade, but we were already beginning to work well as a team. This parade was a little smaller than the one in Victoria, so we had no problem living it up for the crowd. After all, that is what we do best!
Next was Nanaimo for Bathtub Days! Yet another parade, and by now we were well prepared. We set up our float in record time, waved in perfect unison, and did our parade dance flawlessly. The parade was a lot of fun, but the experiences we had there were nothing compared to what was up ahead for us.
Finally, in late July, we had our first off-island event! We drove all the way to Penticton in the gorgeous Okanagan Valley to see what the “Peach City” had to offer us. Here, we attended our very first pageant and got to watch the coronation of the three lovely new Penticton ambassadors. We also had the pleasure of delivering a short speech to the 400 audience members, telling them all how fantastic our own Cowichan Lake area truly is. The next day, we took part in the Peach Fest Parade, then drove from Okanagan to Omak, Washington, where there was a rodeo for us to enjoy and parade for us to take part in. In this parade, we won two awards: first place in our division and the Chamber of Commerce Award for community dedication. Needless to say, we were two very happy Princesses and one very happy Lady.
Afterwards, we said goodbye to the mainland and hello to our serene little island – but not for long. On September 12, we embarked on yet another off-island journey to Peachland! Once again, we had the opportunity to enjoy the amazing scenery of the Okanagan, and say goodbye to fellow royalty as they gave up their crowns after their year-long reign. Unfortunately, the program had no candidates this year, so there were no new ambassadors to be crowned, but the past royals went out with a joyous ceremony regardless. The pageant just reminded us of how grateful we are that our society has kept our own Lady of the Lake program going strong for almost 70 years now, and that there has rarely been a shortage of candidates to partake.
Although our summer season has come to an end, we still are looking forward to many more events in the future, near and far.
Presently, we are getting excited for our third off-island trip to Leavenworth, Washington, on September 26, where we will partake in their annual parade. Other than that, we hope to see you throughout the community and across the island in the coming winter season. We will be attending the Remembrance Day ceremony in November as usual, as well as the Ladysmith Lightup Parade on November 27.
Thank you to you all for your love and support of the Lady of the Lake program.
-Lauren Frost, 2014/2015 Cowichan Lake Lady of the Lake