This year’s Sequim Irrigation Festival royalty candidates on March 7 include, from top clockwise, Sydney VanProyen, Brii Hingtgen, Olivia Preston, Alicia Pairadee, Logan Laxson, Lindsey Coffman, and Mya Janssen. (Keith Ross/Keith’s Frame of Mind)

This year’s Sequim Irrigation Festival royalty candidates on March 7 include, from top clockwise, Sydney VanProyen, Brii Hingtgen, Olivia Preston, Alicia Pairadee, Logan Laxson, Lindsey Coffman, and Mya Janssen. (Keith Ross/Keith’s Frame of Mind)

Seven seek a crown at Sequim Irrigation Festival pageant

Scholarship event chooses royalty for next year

SEQUIM — The tradition of finding Sequim’s next royalty will be a night of pageantry at the Sequim Irrigation Festival’s annual Scholarship Pageant.

Seven teens will vie for a chance to represent Sequim at 6 p.m. March 7 at Sequim High School auditorium, 533 N. Sequim Ave.

This year’s contestants are Lindsey Coffman, Brii Hingtgen, Mya Janssen, Logan Laxson, Alicia Pairadee, Olivia Preston, and Sydney VanProyen.

They’ll present creative displays and answer impromptu questions for a chance to receive $1,250 in college scholarship as king or queen, and $750 for each prince/princess as they represent Sequim over the next year.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger, and are available in advance at First Federal’s Sequim Avenue branch, Sound Community Bank and at the show’s doors.

Pageant hosts will be Guy Horton and past festival queen Julianne Coonts.

Here is a little information about each of the contestants.

Lindsey Coffman

Coffman, whose sponsor is Carolyn Dawson of John L. Scott, has lived in Sequim for almost five years after moving from a small town in Maryland to be closer to her grandparents.

“Sequim has become a great place to call home,” she said.

She’s become active with Sequim High School’s theater program. One of her best memories of the festival is going to the premier of the operetta “Cinderella.”

“That was just amazing and so well done,” she said. “It convinced me to join the operetta in the years following.”

If chosen for royalty, her platform would focus on autism awareness. She said she is defying stereotypes as an autistic student.

“Yes, I am on the autism spectrum, and yes I am a great person and a great student,” she said.

For her creative display, she plans to sing “On my own” from “Les Misérables.”

Brii Hingtgen

Hingtgen, whose sponsor is Nell Clausen from RE/MAX Prime, moved to Sequim 18 months ago from Sonoma, Calif., with her grandparents whom she’s lived with since she was 4.

“They are two amazing people and very important in my life,” she said.

The pageant was one of the first things she learned about Sequim after meeting a past royalty member.

“I asked her what she had in a big bag, and she said, ‘Oh, it’s my crown.’ I thought, ‘where did I move to?’”

“She showed me the crown and it was so beautiful,” Hingtgen said.

One of her best memories of the festival was going to the carnival with friends.

“I’ve always loved the movie “Grease” and it just reminded me of that,” she said.

In the past year, she’s begun learning American Sign Language and plans to sign the song “Burn” from “Hamilton” for her creative display.

If chosen for the royal court, her platform would support the Welfare for Animals Guild.

Mya Janssen

Janssen, whose sponsor is Payne Law, P.S., is a Sequim native. She loves how connected the community is, especially between seniors and teens.

“With our high school, (seniors) come to our concerts, and support our music events,” she said.

Janssen has played trumpet since elementary school and sits as first chair in the high school’s wind ensemble.

For her creative display, she plans to play “Shenandoah” on her trumpet.

Janssen served as student representative for the Dungeness River Audubon Center in 2019 and for the League of Women Voters of Clallam County this year. She also is the junior class vice-president.

She seeks a spot on the royal court because she believes: “I’ll not only strengthen my weaknesses, like public speaking, but also strengthen my strengths (time management, compassion).”

If chosen for the royal court, she would support the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation.

Logan Laxson

Laxson, whose is sponsored by the Oak Table Cafe, moved to Sequim from Tacoma at age 2 so he could grow up closer to his grandparents.

He said he appreciates the small town feel and how “people always wave even if you don’t know that person passing by.”

Logan has grown up doing acrobatics and sports. He coaches an acrobatics class of kindergartners for Sequim Acrobatics. For years, he’s walked and tumbled with fellow acrobats in the Grand Parade along Washington Street.

He seeks a royal court spot because he became more familiar with the program last year and felt it “would be a great way to get better acquainted with my community.”

He also wants to be a role model for boys and those on the junior royalty because he felt they don’t have many boys to look up to in Sequim.

For his creative display, he plans to talk about how acrobatics has helped his other athletics including track and field.

If chosen for the royal court, he would focus his platform on health and fitness for youths.

Alicia Pairadee

Pairadee, sponsored by Paragon Dermatology, was moved to Sequim from Missouri as a toddler and loves where she lives.

“We live 15-minute biking distance from anywhere in Sequim,” she said.

In the summer, she’ll ride to the Sequim Library and read or re-read one of her many favorite series or ride to Railroad Bridge Park and play in the Dungeness River

“It’s really peaceful there,” she said of the park. “It’s serene and untouched by humans. It’s just beautiful to go down there and sit and listen to an audio book.”

Pairadee considers herself a book worm.

“If you get me together with another book worm, we’re gone so fast,” she said.

In recent weeks, she just finished re-reading “The Immortals” quartet series by Tamara Pierce for the fourth time.

“I re-read books like crazy,” she said.

For her creative display, she will talk about training a guide dog puppy, and if selected, she’ll seek more bike racks throughout Sequim.

Olivia Preston

Preston, who is sponsored by Rocha Family Auto Sales, is a Sequim native.

She’s the youngest of seven children and said her favorite place to go in Sequim is Port Williams Beach to write poetry and enjoy her surroundings.

“I have a deep connection with nature,” she said.

For years she walked in the parade spinning baton and even earned two Miss Washington titles for her baton solos.

Preston enjoys the festival’s grand parade most because it’s where her family gathers each year. The last two years, she’s been able to watch it rather than participate.

“It’s a different aspect and helped me appreciate all the work that goes behind it,” she said.

Her goal for being on the royal court is to be an inspiration for others. She wants to be the second member of her family to attend college.

After school, she wants to become a criminal defense lawyer.

At the pageant, she’ll sing and perform on piano “Can’t help falling in love” by Elvis Presley.

If chosen for the royal court, Preston will focus on heart disease prevention.

Sydney VanProyen

VanProyen, sponsored by A-1 Auto, moved to Sequim from Snohomish while in the third grade.

“Whenever I travel, I just want to come back home,” she said. “A lot of the people here are just so nice. It’s not a crowded place.”

With so much to see here, she said she especially enjoys exploring Dungeness Spit.

Participating in the royalty pageant is not something she ordinarily would seek, she said, but past royalty “made it sound like a family.

”I really value that. I’d also be able to represent my town.”

VanProyen said people might know she’s a twin.

She plans to join the U.S. Marines after high school.

“I’ve always wanted to serve this country and protect everyone,” she said. “I believe everyone needs protection, and I want to pay back the people who served. This is the best way I see it.”

If chosen for the royal court, she would look to help veterans, and for her creative display she’ll discuss some of her pictures she’s taken over the years and what they mean to her.

For more about upcoming festival events, including the float reveal and Kick-Off Dinner and Auction on March 21, see www. irrigationfestival.com.

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