SEQUIM — An aspiring neurosurgeon has been crowned queen of this year’s Sequim Irrigation Festival.
Judged selected Sequim High School junior Hannah Hampton to lead the 2021 court that includes princesses Allie Gale, Zoee Kuperus and Sydney VanProyen during the festival’s first virtual Royalty Scholarship pageant.
The event was recorded Feb. 20 inside the Olympic Theatre Arts Center and debuted on the festival’s Facebook page Saturday. It can be viewed online at facebook.com/SequimIrrigationFestival and through links at irrigationfestival.com.
Hampton said in the pageant she plans to attend UCLA to pursue a career as a neurosurgeon. During her creative display, she shared she wanted “to make a difference in the people around her” as she grew up.
Hampton showed a chemical-reaction experiment using household items and said: “Together, these everyday items can create an explosion of influence and creativity.”
“This reaction can easily be reached when a group of people working together towards something bigger than themselves,” she said.
“This idea is what led me to fall in love with the art of science. Something about researchers working together to find a cure for seemingly incurable diseases and surgeons working together to defy the odds to save a life has always been a dream of mine.”
Gale shared a Bible object lesson about how words can affect people.
Meanwhile, Kuperus shared some of her artwork, photography, painting and shoe designs, and VanProyen talked about why she’s interested in joining the U.S. Marines.
Prior to being crowned a princess, Kuperus was named Miss Congeniality for her support of fellow contestants.
The 90-minute show introduced the candidates and shared interviews with pioneers. New festival director Julianne Coonts revealed the junior royalty — Princess Aleah Daniels and Princess Evie Judd of Greywolf Elementary, and Princess Emma Chapman and Princess Eleanor Jones from Helen Haller Elementary — and details about the 126th festival, “Sequim, A Place For You to Rome.”
The festival’s pioneers this year include Grand Pioneers Dave Cameron and Judy Markley; Honorary Pioneers Richard “Dick” Parker and Emily Westcott, and Grand Marshal Amanda Beitzel.
The royalty will appear at the virtual kickoff dinner and auction at 4:45 p.m. April 3.
Pageant master of ceremonies Guy Horton said anyone can participate in the live and silent auctions online.
Royalty will also be part of the Grand Parade, which will be a virtual procession, similar to last October’s event. The parade is set to run at 5 p.m. May 8.
Future events that include royalty traveling to other cities is yet to be determined, organizers said.
At the end of the year, the queen receives a $1,250 scholarship and other royalty a $1,000 scholarship.
Last year’s royalty — queen Lindsey Coffman, princess Brii Hingtgen, prince Logan Laxson and princess Alicia Pairadee — were honored this past weekend.
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]