Candidates for Rhododendron Festival royal court presented in Port Townsend; possible king among hopefuls
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The six candidates for the 2014 Rhody Festival court are, from left, Rachel Ramsey, 17, Shiloh Lanphear-Ramierz, 16, Addison Reichert, 16, Lane Hill, 16, Becca Spencer, 16, all of Port Townsend High School; and Kaycee McGuire, 17, of Chimacum High School. The teens were formally introduced Sunday at Seaport Landing in Port Townsend. Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News

Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — The six candidates for the 79th annual Rhododendron Festival royal court — including one young man who would be king — were introduced to the festival board Sunday.

They are Lane Hill, Shiloh Lanphear-Ramirez, Rachel Ramsey, Addison Richert and Becca Spencer, all of Port Townsend and Kaycee McGuire of Chimacum.

The number of candidates is “better than the last few years,” noted Melanie Bozak, board treasurer.

Lanphear-Ramirez is only the third young man to vie for the Rhody Fest royal court in the history of the festival.

The most recent male candidate was Nick Reynolds in 2010. Reynolds, who was a senior at Chimacum High School, dropped out of the contest before the coronation.

Of the six running this year, three will be crowned at the coronation at 5 p.m. March 15 at the Chimacum High School auditorium, 91 West Valley Road.

Doors will open at
4:30 p.m. Admission is $5 per person or $20 for a family of four or more.

The queen or king will receive a $1,500 scholarship, and each princess or prince will get one worth $1,000.

The annual festival is set from May 12-17. It is always capped by a grand parade through Port Townsend after offering a trike race, bed race, kiddie parade, pet parade, flower show, carnival, golf tournament and other events.

Sunday’s official introduction was at Seaport Landing in Port Townsend.

Candidates are Jefferson County juniors or seniors enrolled as full-time students and maintaining cumulative grade-point averages of 2.5 or above.

They already have attended weekly training session since Dec. 2 and will be expected to not only reign over the 2014 Rhody Fest but also attend about 12 other parades between April and October.

Candidate bios

Here is a little more about the candidates:

■   Hill, 16, is a junior at Port Townsend High School. The daughter of Rachel and Richard Hill, she has lived in Port Townsend all her life and is a member of the high school cheer squad, Associated Student Body and Future Business Leaders of America.

She is a part of the Building Futures program where she is a mentor for an elementary student. She likes to dance, read, write and spend time with family.

She plans to study nursing in college.

■   Lanphear-Ramirez, 16, is a junior at Port Townsend High School whose interests span playing and coaching soccer, fall play production, playing music and involvement with his church group.

The son of Francisca Lanphear-Ramirez and Jerry Lanphear, he has lived in Port Townsend for seven years.

He is a member of Associated Student Body and the Pep Band and is a mentor with Building Futures.

He plans to attend the Moody Bible Institute and become a youth pastor.

■   McGuire, 17, is a senior at Chimacum High School. She has lived in Jefferson County for two years.

The daughter of Gerrie and Ben McGuire, she is involved with marching band, color guard, drama club and soccer and enjoys teaching color guard to younger students, singing, acting, cooking and baking.

She also volunteers at the Fort Worden Historical Museum.

After high school, she plans to join the Air Force and study to become a nurse.

■   Ramsey, 17, a senior at Port Townsend High School, is the god-daughter of Rebekah and Skip Cadorette.

She has lived in Port Townsend for three years. A member of the swim and dive team, tennis team and Interact Club, she volunteers at KPTZ-91.9 FM and Grant Street Elementary and also as a Building Futures mentor.

She enjoys playing the guitar and saxophone and would like to be a music producer.

She to major in journalism, business or communications in college.

■   Richert, 16, is a junior at Port Townsend High school and a lifelong resident of the town.

The daughter of Julie and Larry Richert, she is on the Associated Student Body executive board, is high school dance chairman, homecoming assembly MC and plays varsity volleyball.

She volunteers at the hospital, food bank, dance studio and is a Building Futures mentor.

She enjoys dancing, singing, acting and winter sports.

She plans to go to medical school and pursue a career in pediatrics.

■   Spencer, 16, is a junior at Port Townsend High School.

The daughter of Christy and Steve Spencer, she has lived in Port Townsend for 14 years.

She is a member of Future Business Leaders of America and has participated in Key Club.

She participates in O’Meara Dance Studio dance programs.

After high school, she would like to go on to Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.

Candidates are judged each of their speaking engagements at service clubs as well as the judges’ tea the weekend prior to the coronation and on coronation night.

They are judged on public speaking, personal presentation, display of creativity and an answers to impromptu questions.

The Rhody Festival website is at

Last modified: January 26. 2014 6:57PM
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