The 2021 Yellow Rose Ball

Denver debutants open the Central City Opera Summer Festival

By Jaclyn Schrock

For 88 years Denver’s finest young women have been introduced to proper society in the garden between the Central City Opera House and the Teller House. About 25 juniors and/or senior high school young ladies are selected each year to be Flower Girls for the opening of the Central City Opera Summer Festival.

2021 debutants made their initial social appearance, descending the stone stairs of the garden in bloom, as the other nearly nine decades of young ladies have also been presented to society.  These Flower Girls in pink halter dresses with wide waist bands flowed long white skirts, carrying their basket of nosegays. With lacy wrist length gloves and long flowing hair these Flower Girls are introduced, naming their parents and grandparents. They are then escorted by dashing a young man suited in white, (often a family member or friend) to the presentation stage. Many of 2021 Flower Girls are siblings of other Flower Girls and second or third generation Flower Girls.

Formal presentation to a future promising the promotion and participation in the arts of our culture is an honor for these young ladies and their families. Encouraging arts study and participation, philanthropy and appreciation of refined creative beauty is part of the annual selection process for the Flower Girls. Over 50 women comprise the Yellow Rose Ball Committee, who present their selected Flower Girls at a tea in the previous fall at the Governor’s Mansion.

To open the Central City Opera 2021 Summer Festival, the Yellow Rose Ball Committee and Flower Girls have prepared patiently for June to kick off for this summer’s festival of opera events. Much preparation and sharing of the anticipation: pre-parties, waltz practice, dress fittings, elegant invitations for the private part of the event (opera and dinner) along with making the nosegays. The Central City Opera House is the 5th longest running opera house in the US. The community has always participated in the Opening of the Opera season with many happy memories of parades, and festive celebrations.

This delightful tradition sets young women on a path of artistic participation and appreciation. Dancing with their father as their first formal social event sets them to classical rhythm with grace and poise. Central City is steeped in rich culture!

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