Rhododendron Festival royal court coronation coming Saturday to Chimacum High School
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Members of the 79th annual Rhododendron Festival royal court include, from left, Shiloh Lanphear-Ramirez, Becca Spencer and Lane Hill.
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Members of the 79th annual Rhododendron Festival royal court include, from left, Kaycee McGuire, Rachel Ramsey and Addison Richert.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

CHIMACUM — The six candidates for the 79th annual Rhododendron Festival royal court will be narrowed down to three members Saturday.

“Everything's moving toward Rhody with the coronation,” said Melanie Bozak, the organization's sponsor.

“The weather's great, which makes everyone think about spring and look forward to the festival in May.”

The theme of this year's festival, set May 12-17, is “Roaring Rhody,” reflecting a Roaring '20s character.

The annual festival 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.

The coronation ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. in the Chimacum High School auditorium, 91 West Valley Road.

Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. Admission will be $5 per person.

The six will be winnowed down to a king or queen, with two others serving as princesses or a prince.

The queen or king will receive a $1,500 scholarship, and each princess or prince will be given a $1,000 scholarship.

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

Shiloh 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.

Shiloh said he didn't feel out of place with the five other contestants “because I have five siblings, four of them are girls, and I'm pretty integrated already.”

His assessment of the competition is gender-free and could be articulated by any of the candidates.

“It's fun. I get to meet a lot of people, and it has helped me develop as a public speaker and a public figure,” he said.

“It allows me to communicate and become culturally connected and to get my name out.”

The six candidates have made several joint appearances at service groups, which will continue when the number is winnowed down to three.

The decision will be made by a panel of judges at the coronation, based on questions asked of the candidates during the ceremony.

Here is more about the candidates.

■   Lane, 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 plans to study nursing in college.

■   Shiloh, 16, is a junior at Port Townsend High School. His 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 plans to attend the Moody Bible Institute and become a youth pastor.

■   Kaycee, 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.

■   Rachel, 17, a senior at Port Townsend High School, is the goddaughter 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 intends to major in journalism, business or communications in college.

■   Addison, 16, is a junior at Port Townsend High 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 and homecoming assembly MC, and plays varsity volleyball.

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

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

■   Becca, 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 the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.


Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 13. 2014 7:28PM
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