In the Sequim Irrigation Festival’s first virtual Royalty Scholarship pageant, an aspiring neurosurgeon was crowned queen.
Judges selected Sequim High junior Hannah Hampton to lead the 2021 court that includes princesses Allie Gale, Zoee Kuperus and Sydney VanProyen.
The pageant was recorded on Feb. 20 inside the Olympic Theatre Arts Center and debuted on the festival’s Facebook page the night of Feb. 27. View it 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 that growing up she wanted “to make a difference in the people around her.” She showed a chemical reaction experiment using household items, saying, “Together, these everyday items can create an explosion of influence and creativity.”
She said, “This reaction can easily be reached when a group of people are working together towards something bigger than themselves.
“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.”
Along with Hampton’s creative display, Gale shared a Bible object lesson about how words can affect people, Kuperus shared some of her artwork, photography, painting and shoe designs, and VanProyen shared about why she’s interested in joining the U.S. Marines.
Prior to being crowned a princess, Kuperus was named Miss Congeniality Award 2021 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 — Junior royalty will be 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. Saturday, April 3. Find more information at the festival’s webpage and e.givesmart.com/events/jUt.
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, which is set to run at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 8.
Future events that see royalty travel 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, who had minimal events due to the pandemic, were honored this past weekend, including queen Lindsey Coffman, princess Brii Hingtgen, prince Logan Laxson, and princess Alicia Pairadee.
Judges for the 2021 pageant were Jay and Whitley Sakas, and Marcus Oden.
For more information about the festival, visit www.irrigationfestival.com and look in upcoming editions of the Gazette.