As the Royal Gala apple trees blossomed in the orchards around town, Summerland’s Royalty were being crowned at Centre Stage Theatre during the Summerland Blossom Pageant on the weekend.
Taylor Arkesteyn, Miss Avery Law Office, was chosen to reign as Miss Summerland.
Julia Belmonte, Miss Summerland Massage Therapy, along with Makenzie Vandertoolen, Miss Beanery Café, were named princesses.
Voted for by her fellow competitors, Brianna Ure, Miss Kiwanis, received the title of Miss Congeniality.
There were a total of 10 young ladies taking part in the 44th Annual Blossom Pageant.
The talent and speech competition was held on Friday evening.
The depth of the speeches given showed wisdom far beyond that of the contestants’ years. Topics ranged from showing initiative, learning self- confidence, differences in generations, being proud to be Canadian all the way to travelling, saving the bees and changing the world.
The talents displayed included song and dance, the playing of musical instruments as well as cheerleading, soccer and archery.
The Saturday night program included greetings from the mayor and visiting royalty, entertainment, the evening wear and impromptu questions part of the competition and finally the awards presentations and coronation.
Judges for the event were Sara Noble, Shannon Corps and Darlene Belanger.
“I feel extremely honoured,” said Arkesteyn, after the coronation. “I’m excited for this summer with my fellow royalty.”
Vandertoolen expressed her gratitude to her sponsors at the Beanery Café. “I am so grateful,” she said.
“I feel totally overwhelmed. All the joy is just all over the place. I want to cry all night now,” said Belmonte. In regards to the upcoming year she said, “I’m looking forward to it. I have two amazing girls to spend it with.”
During the next year the royalty will represent Summerland, attending special events here at home and travelling to other communities throughout the province.
Mayor Janice Perrino thanked the retiring royalty for being great ambassadors for the community, as they travelled B.C. and to Summerland’s Sister City, Toyokoro, Japan. She presented each of them with a small gift of appreciation.
Other presentations included the People’s Choice Award and the Public Speaking Award, both going to Arkesteyn. The committee Award went to Belmonte and the Talent Award to Vandertoolen. Receiving the Top Fundraiser Award was Sydney Peterson, Miss Nesters Market and the Local Knowledge Award was given to Gabrielle Lucier, Miss One Person Project.
Also taking part in the competition was Aviana Ferlizza, Miss Zias; Jordan Bendixsen, Miss Arts Council; Katie Grant, Miss Action Festival and Katelyn Michaud, Miss Rotary.
In their final speeches, the outgoing Royalty expressed their appreciation for the opportunities and experiences that have contributed to their growth during their year long reign.
They also thanked their “second mothers,” Karen Hooper, Pat Gartrell and Leanne Sieben of the Royalty Committee, who organize the pageant each year.
If you know a positive story about someone in our community, contact Carla McLeod at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Summerland Review newsroom at 250-494-5406.