The tradition of finding Sequim’s next royalty begins with a night of pageantry at the Sequim Irrigation Festival’s annual Scholarship Pageant.
Seven teens vie for a chance to represent Sequim at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 7 at Sequim High School. This year’s contestants include: Lindsey Coffman, Brii Hingtgen, Mya Janssen, Logan Laxson, Alicia Pairadee, Olivia Preston, and Sydney VanProyen.
They’ll present creative displays, answer impromptu questions and more for a chance to receive $1,250 in college scholarship as king or queen, and $750 for each prince/princess in as they represent Sequim over the next year.
Tickets cost $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. Read more about upcoming festival events at www.irrigationfestival.com.
Sponsor: Carolyn Dawson of John L. Scott
Lindsey has lived in Sequim 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.
In the city, she enjoys going to Hurricane Coffee Co., to hang out with friends, and 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.”
Lindsey said she’s pursuing a spot on the royalty because many of her high school role models went through the royalty program and “all seemed to have a great time.”
If chosen for royalty, her platform would focus on autism awareness because Lindsey said she’s 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.”
Sponsor: Nell Clausen from RE/MAX Prime
Brii 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.
She said Sequim has become a beautiful place to her, too, including Cline Spit in Dungeness.
“I live near the water so it reminds me of the Bay area, so it’s a piece of home but away,” 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,” Brii said. She looked into the royalty program and found it to be amazing.
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,” Brii 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 royalty, her platform would support the Welfare for Animals Guild.
Sponsor: Payne Law, P.S.
Mya has lived in Sequim her whole life and says 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.
Mya has played trumpet since elementary school, which is rare for a girl, she said, and sits as first chair in the high school’s wind ensemble.
“I remember in elementary school our music teacher brought us instruments and the trumpet intrigued me the most,” she said.
For her creative display, she plans to play “Shenandoah” on her trumpet.
Mya is also active with community groups serving last year as student representative for the Dungeness River Audubon Center and this year for the League of Women Voters of Clallam County. She also serves as the junior class vice-president.
She seeks a spot on the royalty because she believes “I’ll only strengthen my weaknesses, like public speaking, but also strengthen my strengths (time management, compassionate).”
Mya has attended the festival’s Grand Parade her whole life and enjoys seeing the motorcycles and cars. She, like many other contestants, enjoys drinks at Hurricane Coffee Co., too.
If chosen for royalty, Mya would support the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation.
Sponsor: The Oak Table
Logan moved to Sequim from Tacoma at age 2 to grow up closer to his grandparents.
He says 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, and 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 also became better acquainted with his current group of friends at the festival’s carnival, he said. Logan also said one of his favorite places to visit in Sequim is Hurricane Coffee Co.
He seeks a royalty 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 royalty, Logan would focus his platform on health and fitness for youths.
Sponsor: Paragon Dermatology
Alicia 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.”
Alicia 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.
Alicia is pursuing a royalty spot because many of her high school role models did it too, and she hopes to learn a lot from the experience. As for the festival, you might have seen her walk in the parade for years as a Girl Scout.
For her creative display, she will talk about training a guide dog puppy, and if selected, she’ll seek more bike racks throughout Sequim.
Sponsor: Rocha Family Auto Sales
Olivia has lived in Sequim her entire life and feels a strong connection here.
“I’ve been to a lot of places and Sequim has always been a place with a lot of family and felt like home,” she said.
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.
Olivia 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 royalty is to be an inspiration for others and be the second one in her family to attend college.
After school, Olivia wants to become a criminal defense lawyer because she wants to help people with mental health issues.
At the pageant, she’ll sing and perform on piano “Can’t help falling in love” by Elvis Presley. If chosen for the royalty, Olivia’s platform focuses on heart disease prevention.
Sponsor: A-1 Auto
Sydney moved to Sequim in third grade from Snohomish and feels it’s truly become her home.
“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, Sydney said she loves to explore the water especially on the Dungeness Spit.
Participating in the royalty pageant is not something Sydney would not seek, she said, but after talking to some past royalty she felt convinced.
“They made it sound like a family,” she said. “I really value that. I’d also be able to represent my town.”
She enjoys the events at the festival’s Logging show because her whole family attends to watch truck pulls.
Sydney said people might know she’s a twin, and she plans to join the US 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 royalty, Sydney said she looks 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.
Read more about upcoming festival events, including the float reveal and Kick-Off Dinner and Auction on March 21 at www.irrigationfestival.com.