one of 125 queens

This past Sunday was the Holy Ghost Festa Parade in Sausalito, where they happen to be celebrating their 125th anniversary!



Procession of young girls, c. 1915


Procession on Water Street and Princess, c. 1925


Marching Band, c. 1913


Saint Mary’s Star of the Sea Church, c. 1900



Since I was a past queen back in 1997, I was invited along with all other past queens to be in the parade.  I only participated in the parade from the church to the hall and didn’t get a “Past Queen” sash until after the parade was over, so I think a lot of people were confused as to what I was doing there all dressed up.  How could I be in a parade and NOT dress up fancy!?!?  But it was a lot of fun and now I have a “Past Queen” sash for all my Halloween and parade crashing needs!











1940s white gown: ebay
1930s blue ostrich feather capelet: Vintage Expo
white heels: MIA via Bunny’s Shoes, Santa Cruz
1960s purse, white parasol: thrifted
1950s sunglasses: a vintage store in Sacrament that has since closed
blue gloves: We Love Colors, via a blog giveaway

The cape on the far left was the one I wore in 1997.

In the late 13th century during a severe famine throughout Portugal, a compassionate Queen Isabel was determined to help her starving subjects.  Legend has it that during her efforts she was confronted by the very harsh King Diniz while crossing the royal courtyard with crown jewels (in some versions of the story it was bread) hidden in her cape.  The King asked the Queen what she was carrying, and she responded “roses” although it was mid-winter and none were blooming.  But when her cape was opened for the King’s inspection, the jewels had been miraculously converted to roses.  The miracle allowed the Queen to continue to sell her jewelry to feed the starving Portuguese population.




I’m glad that my family introduced me to such vibrant and fun cultural tradition.  Plus, the food is so good!



  1. Miss Fairchild

    What a fantastic tradition! You look fabulous…very royal.

  2. Jessica Cangiano

    Mary, you look so glamorously stunning! I adore your blue capelet and that timelessly chic gown. You’re a vision of loveliness!

    ♥ Jessica

  3. Danielle

    I remember in elementary schools one of my best friends was queen or at least participated and she brought in what she was wearing for show & tell and I was like whoaaaaa… let me get in on this somehow.

    You look freakin’ fabulous, this might be my favorite outfit of yours ever and that’s saying a LOT. The sash is so great too… so glamorous!

  4. Emileigh M.

    You do look amazing! That blue capelet… WOW! Talk about glamorous!

  5. Christina B

    I follow your blog since ever… and when I saw this I thought I was on the wrong blog! I’m Portuguese and it’s always nice to see our traditions being carried on…especially for 125 years! I also had no idea that Sausalito had a big Portuguese heritage!

  6. Mary Van Notes » Archive » Halloween 2013: Undead Suffragist

    […] I already had part of the costume down.  Took a look in my hat and purse collection, modified my Past Queen sash, stopped by a trusty vintage shop for a black velvet skirt, and voila — Suffragist costume […]

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