In a fun twist, the Irish Belle of this year’s County Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Parade actually is named Belle.
To her friends and family, Annabella Nemo Page of Ventura is known as Belle – and from now on, she also can be known more formally as the 2020 Irish Belle of the Ventura Elks Club’s 32nd annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Set for Saturday, March 14, the downtown Ventura parade will commence at 10 a.m. near Mission San Buenaventura and make its way up Main Street to the judges’ booth at Chestnut. The Irish Belle will ride in the parade, along with her court, in the convertible that leads the St. Patrick’s Parade Committee entry.
It was much more than her name that qualified Belle for this community honor. A senior at El Camino High School at Ventura College, she is an A student with a generous giving spirit and a remarkably well-rounded range of skills and interests at which she excels, including animation and digital art, hiking, running and biking, baking and, perhaps most notably, acting.
An accomplished actress, Belle has been active in the Ventura Actors Studio for the past five years; she also assists at the studio with private acting lessons for mentally disabled children. In addition, she has dedicated more than 100 hours to L.A. Connection Comedy Theatre in Burbank, where she performs for children on Saturdays. Belle says her pull toward working with children stems from the simple fact that she loves to “make kids smile.”
A Renaissance student and a member of the California Scholastic Federation, Belle is academically strongest in English but has an equal passion for the digital art portfolio she has built over the past seven years and continues to build.
Accompanying Belle on her Irish Belle journey are the members of the Irish Belle Court: Tammy “Shayla” Williams, from Buena High School; Margaret “Molly” Hammer, from Ventura High; Tressa O’Conner, from Foothill Technology High; Sarah Gianelli, from St. Bonaventure High; and Samantha “Sam” Frenes, from Pacific High.
In addition to riding in the parade, the Belle and her court will attend promotional activities supporting the parade. They’ll all receive certificates for their work and Belle will receive a $1,000 academic scholarship from the Elks Club.
The theme of this year’s parade is “Music Makes the World Go Round”; riding as grand marshal will be Nan Drake, a longtime community leader, co-chair of the parade committee and spokeswoman for the E.J. Harrison & Sons trash collection company.