Charles Phoenix’s Slide of the Week: Camellia Festival, Temple City, 1958

Camellia Festival, Temple City, 1958

A young Camellia Queen-with-attitude is perched on her gold foil-wrapped throne centered on a pull cart glorified with camellias. She and her lavender clad court of one are just sitting there. The parade has come to a halt. The royal pull cart is powered by a trio of bobby socked brownies standing side by side in near military precision. Their fearless Girl Scout leader-chaperone is uniformed with a regulation hat and white buttoned up and bow tied blouse over a smart straight skirt. Her double strapped, chunk heeled, open-toed sling backs with side vents stand out quite nicely against asphalt. She doesn’t know it but her slip is showing. The sparse crowd of sidewalk sitters looks onward.

Darn it, we just missed the 63rd annual Temple City Camellia Festival Parade. It happened just last weekend. Oh well, maybe next year! Think: a very miniature scale rose parade with camellias and kids. The highlight of the festival is the parade of charming children riding on camellia decorated floats and the young king and queen. The youngest queen, crowned in 1950, was just eight months old.

Temple City is one of the many sparkling jewels in Los Angeles’ crown space age suburban cities. Oddly, there is no Temple in Temple City. But there is an abundance of Camellias. The city mothers made sure of that. In 1944 the lovely ladies of the Temple City Woman’s Club held a contest to choose an official city flower and slogan. Camellias became the flower and “Home of Camellias” became the slogan. Later that year they held the first Camellia Festival Parade. Great idea ladies, thank you!

Here’s to Them, Camellias, Festivals, Queens with attitude and YOU!

Charles Phoenix

Visit Charles’ site or join his Slide of the Week Mailing List.