California Macaroni KID publisher Rose Peterkin certainly didn't expect the surprise of her life while air-brushing tattoos on children at a festival in her town.
But that was exactly what happened: Her longtime partner, James Azagra, shocked her with a marriage proposal in the middle of the Holiday in the Park — an engagement so unique it was featured in her local online paper, MyBurbank.com.
"I am notoriously difficult to surprise and it was a total surprise," Rose says.
Rose met James in 1999, and the two have a 14-year-old son together, Isley.
So why did they get engaged after so long?
The pandemic put life into perspective for them, Rose said.
"We had talked about that it was time to make a formal commitment," she said.
James, for his part, chose the event to ask Rose because her brother had just arrived in town from Alaska. The siblings hadn't seen each other since before the pandemic began.
"He had a good diversion," Rose said. "I thought my brother was the surprise."
While Rose was greeting her brother, James and friends hurriedly put up balloons and decorations at her Macaroni KID booth behind her. She thought her family was there with their cameras out to mark the sibling reunion, not realizing what was happening until she heard John Legend's “Slow Dance” — the couple's favorite song — playing from her booth and turned around.
The community cheered on the happy couple as it became apparent what was occurring.
"People stopped and were clapping and wished us congratulations the rest of the night," Rose said. "It was really fun."
Rose became a Macaroni KID publisher more than four years ago. She now publishes two California Macaroni KID sites — Macaroni KID Burbank - North Hollywood - Sunland and Macaroni KID Glendale-La Crescenta-Montrose-Atwater Village.
"I used Macaroni KID all throughout my son’s toddler life," she said. "I was just waiting for the opportunity."
Her favorite thing about being a Macaroni KID publisher?
"I love engaging with my community," she said.
Such a public proposal is a great example of that!
💞 Macaroni KID wishes Rose, James, and Isley continued happiness! 💞
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