PELLA — Alyssa Geetings has been named the 2021 Tulip Time Queen.
Hannah Tschetter, Ashley Hardman, Tessa Brouwer and Olivia De Haan-Burch will serve on the 2021 Royal Court for the 86th annual Tulip Time Festival this upcoming year.
Geetings, Hardman, Brouwer, Tschetter and De Haan-Burch were chosen to represent the community at the Tulip Queen's Announcement Party Nov. 14. The Pella Christian High School Auditorium is typically packed with hundreds of spectators, but this year, the party was held virtually due to COVID-19. A limited number of family members and friends, along with 30 judges, were allowed to attend in-person.
This year, thirteen young women competed for queen and her court. Each finalist gave a three-minute presentation to demonstrate and exemplify their individual, unique personalities.
Geetings was fifth to the stage, decorating a Christmas tree with a tree skirt, ornaments and a tree-topper angel. Each piece of the tree represented her family, her love for people and her faith.
“I believe that the true gift of Christmas is the gift of community,” said Geetings. “There’s truly nothing more special than getting to spend quality time with those who you love, and in the same way, I believe that Pella has been blessed.”
Tschetter demonstrated how time has taught her many lessons throughout her life. Tschetter has learned the importance of always being on time, reminisced about her late grandfather and recalled a car accident she survived her sophomore year.
“I realized that I’m here because of a miracle, that I’ve been granted more time, and that I need to take advantage of this time and do the great things that are in store for me,” said Tschetter. “Overall, time has taught me some pretty great things: to be patient, to cherish time with love-ones and to take advantage of the time that’s been granted to me.”
Hardman’s love of dance has helped her develop life-long skills and created lasting relationships. She used the example of a three-step turn to represent these skills and relationships. The first step represented patience, followed by dedication and gratitude.
“Not only has dance taught me how to be patient, dedicated and grateful, but it has made me who I am today,” said Hardman.
Brouwer used the card game UNO, a family favorite, to represent surviving a blood disorder, her love for music, art, animals and Legos, her relationship with her siblings and a trip to the Netherlands.
“This card [a wild card] represents the rest of my life,” concluded Brouwer. “I may not know where Christ is leading me, but in His guidance, I know that the journey will be good. I’m so grateful that He chose to start this journey in the beautiful town of Pella, Iowa.”
For De Haan-Burch, the board game “Ticket to Ride” has played a significant role in her life. Players travel to different destinations and acquire tickets along the way. De Haan-Burch said she’s traveled to unique destinations throughout her life, both physically and metaphorically, where she’s received tickets, or learned important lessons.
“I don’t know what tomorrow’s journey will bring, but I do know I will trust in the Lord,” said De Haan-Burch. “I will take the tickets I’m continuing to learn: perseverance, generosity, determination and my final ticket, trust.”
In addition to presentations, finalists were asked about their activities, interests and experiences, along with an impromptu question from Emcee Tom Vander Well.
2020 Tulip Queen Hanna Kendall and her court made an appearance and thanked all those who have supported them throughout their time as reigning queen and court, especially after the cancelation of the 85th annual Tulip Time Festival because of the pandemic.
“My biggest blessing also comes from this community and the amazing opportunities that we’ve all been given to represent it,” said Kendall. “Because of everybody here in our entire community, I’m able to lead and share the most important things that we all represent, which is our tradition, our unity, and most importantly, our traditions during this time.”
A date has not yet been set for the 2021 Tulip Time Festival.