The Court of Queen Isabella is a group of outstanding, young Italian-American women who embody and uphold important Italian Traditions. Not only does the Court represent all Italian-Americans, but it specifically represents the Board of Directors, the Italian Heritage Parade and the local Italian community throughout the year at various events. The Court of Queen Isabella is named in recognition of Isabella I of Castile who helped finance Christopher Columbus voyage. Christopher Columbus and Columbus Day is an important celebration for Italian-Americans because it is a reminder to all immigrants of their unique journey to America.
The process to be selected as the Court of Queen Isabella entails an interview process with a panel of judges. Some of the key characteristics that the judges look out for are poise, grace, community involvement, participation in the Italian community, strong speaking skills and a commitment to their Italian heritage.
Being a member of the Court of Queen Isabella is not only an honor, but an opportunity for young Italian-American women to celebrate and represent their heritage day in and day out. The ideals that must be embodied are hard work, the importance of family and face, and a love of life.
Grace Ann Cardenas is the 2021 Queen Isabella. She, and her court, were announced at the Italian Heritage Parade’s Fundraising Dinner in May. She will reign from October until the following September. The remaining Court members include: Filomina Torchy Prudente Reilly – Princess; Adriana Kristine Calgaro – First Contessa; Giada Parigi – Second Contessa; Francesca Florine Fanucchi – Second Lady in Waiting; Gianna Sofia Bankovitch – Maiden; and George Ottavio Pisani Theodorides – Scroll Bearer.