SEQUIM — The contestants are the same, the show is the same. It’s just at a new day for the Sequim Irrigation Festival’s annual Royalty Pageant.
Like dozens of events postponed because of last month’s heavy snow, organizers rescheduled the pageant. Originally set for Feb. 9, it now will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Sequim High School auditorium at 533 N. Sequim Ave.
This year’s contestants include Ana Benitez, sponsored by YMCA of the Olympic Peninsula; Brianna Cowan, sponsored by Sanford Irrigation; Kjirstin Foresman, sponsored by Blue Sky Property Management; Erin Rosengren, sponsored by Sunny Farms Country Store; Emily Silva, sponsored by Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County; and Shelby Wells, sponsored by Sound Community Bank.
They will compete for four spots by presenting creative displays, answering impromptu questions and more to win a chance to represent Sequim in festivals and events for a year with the queen receiving a $1,250 college scholarship and each princess $750 in scholarships.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger, and are still available in advance at First Federal’s Sequim Avenue branch, as well as at the door.
The Sequim Irrigation Festival celebrates its 124th year May 3-12 with the tagline “There’s no Place like Home.”
Read about more upcoming events at www.irrigation festival.com.
For her creative display, Benitez will show and discuss how she made a pair of pants. If chosen for court, her platform will focus on family health, likely through the YMCA.
Benitez said she wants to be on the royalty court because she’s seen how it’s impacted past royalty members and given them good life skills.
“I was a very introverted person and I would like to change that and become more social,” she said.
For her creative display, Cowan will share and teach a cheer. If chosen for the court, she wants to support Beyond Type 1, an organization that empowers other Type 1 diabetics to have strength, courage and support.
Cowan said she wants to be on the royalty court because she’s always looked up to past royalty.
“They’ve made a big impact on my life, and I’d hope to make an impact on other children’s lives,” she said.
For the pageant, Foresman plans to play music on the xylophone. She said that if she’s selected for the royalty court she’s chosen to help foster children on the peninsula as her platform.
Foresman wants to be on the court because she enjoys meeting people.
“I don’t get nervous, and I’m good at connecting with people,” she said. “This will also be a good opportunity to get more immersed in Sequim since I haven’t lived here my whole life.”
For her creative display, Rosengren plans to share a Native American dance she learned from her mom. If selected, her platform will support autism awareness because she and two of siblings have autism.
Rosengren said she wants to be on the royalty court because she’s always wanted to try new things.
Silva plans to present running for her creative display. If she’s selected to be a royal, she hopes to bring awareness to breast cancer research because she lost her grandmother before she was born to the disease.
As for why she wants to be on the court, Silva said her mother, Julianne Coonts, was queen of the court one year and she’s “always looked up to her.”
“If I was able to become a royal, I know it would make my mom proud,” she said.
For the pageant, Wells plans to play on acoustic guitar and sing. If selected to the court, she plans to support the Welfare for Animals Guild in some capacity because she appreciates their effort to save local dogs.
Wells said she’s gone to every grand parade since she can remember and is running for the court because “I’ve always looked up to the girls running for the court.”
“They’ve been huge role models in my life,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to be a princess, and make a difference.”
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].