By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Angela Bentley appeared in a red evening gown and recited a poem for the final judging at the annual scholarship pageant at Sequim High school.
She was proclaimed queen and crowned by 2012 Princess Natalie Stevenson.
“I've always seen the princesses; it looked really fun,” Bentley said in a Sunday interview.
While it was her first experience with the pageant, she's not the first Irrigation Festival royal in the family.
Her sister, Molly Bentley, was the runner-up in the Irrigation Festival pageant about 20 years ago.
“She's in Australia now,” Bentley said.
Molly was unable to be in Sequim for the pageant, but she gave her kid sister tips for the scholarship competition during an earlier visit, Angela said.
The new queen's candidacy was sponsored by Pacific Mist Books, and she plans to volunteer with reading programs for area elementary school children.
“I want to be a role model. I want to be there for them and not let them down,” she said.
The 118th Sequim Irrigation Festival — the longest-running community festival in Washington state — will take place May 3-12 mainly in downtown Sequim, climaxed by the Grand Parade at noon on May 11.
The theme for the 2013 festival is “Dancing through the Valley.”
The royalty candidates are judged based on a Thursday tea interview, a talent or creative display on stage, the answers to two on-stage questions and the finale — an evening gown competition.
Bentley, who maintains a 4.0 grade-point average, said she plans to major in journalism at New York University or another New York school.
She, along with her court, Princesses Lavee Hess, Christie Honroe and Danyelle Wilson, will act as ambassadors of Sequim and the Irrigation Festival through 2013.
That will include riding on floats in other regional parades and taking part in community and charity events.
Bentley will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Each of the three princesses will receive a $750 scholarship for their participation in the event.
Between a busy school schedule and the festival court's duties, the four young women will have a challenging schedule for the coming year.
“You need to prioritize,” Angela said.
Also announced Saturday night was the 2013 Junior Royalty, selected based on an essay contest.
The young students wrote on the question, based on the 2013 theme, “What would you see as you are dancing through the valley?”
Dee Dee Dorrell, a student at Helen Haller Elementary, was named junior queen.
Other junior royalty are Prince Logan Phipps, also a student at Helen Haller, and Princess Chloe Stanford and Prince Henry Hughes, both students at Greywolf Elementary School.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.