By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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The 37th Sequim Irrigation Festival Royalty pageant will be in the Sequim High School auditorium at 601 N Sequim Ave.
Admission is $5 at the door or in advance from the candidates, the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., Solar City and Kitsap Bank.
The queen and three princesses will reign over the 119th Irrigation Festival, scheduled May 2-11.
The pageant will feature a question-and-answer session, evening gowns and creative displays.
“It's like 'The Hunger Games,' but in dresses,” said Katey Tapia, a candidate who is sponsored by Air Flo Heating.
Others candidates are Ashley Baltrusitis, sponsored by Dilley & Solomon; Kaylee Ditlefsen, sponsored by Northwest Log Homes; Kristina Holtrop, sponsored by Nourish; and Judi Villella, sponsored by Bekkevar Logging and Trucking.
The queen will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Each princess will receive a $750 scholarship.
The quintet of queen candidates, all high school juniors, has been rehearsing two nights a week since December to prepare for the pageant.
Here is a little about the candidates, their creative displays and their aspirations.
■ Ashley will create a graffiti art display.
A fan of conspiracy theories and science, she wants to study environmental science at the Huxley College of Environmental Science at Western Washington University.
If she became part of the royal court, she would want to spend quality time with the elderly and special-needs residents of Sherwood Village.
■ Kaylee will sing “Rain on My Parade.”
An accomplished wrestler who recently finished eighth place at the state championships, Kaylee hopes to study business at the University of Washington.
Her royal platform would be to raise money through the Make-A-Wish program to benefit an area child.
■ Kristina will perform a dance to Aretha Franklin's “Until You Come Back to Me.”
A lifelong student of various dance styles, she hopes to attend Whitman College in Walla Walla to study natural health practices.
Kristina's platform would be to promote healthy eating among schoolchildren.
■ Katey will play piano for her creative display.
A California native, she hopes to study journalism and creative writing at the University of California, Los Angeles, with the hopes of becoming a fashion editor.
Her platform would be to help the Welfare for Animals Guild, known as WAG, care for animals.
■ Judi will share her hobbies of snowboarding and volleyball.
Judi said the pageant has helped her better connect to her family's long history in the Dungeness Valley.
She plans to study radiology or ultrasound technology at a college she hopes will be in California.
Her platform would be to help advance the work of the Grange.
The Co-op Farm & Garden is the pageant's principal sponsor, and Guy and Jennifer Horton will serve as masters of ceremony.
For more, visit the festival's website, www.irrigationfestival.com.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.