View Mobile Site


Fond memories of Almond Blossom fete as young girl

Text Size: Small Large Medium

Francesca Amaudo delivers her speech during the Almond Blossom Festival kick-off dinner at the Spring Creek Country Club.

HIME ROMERO/ The Bulletin/

POSTED January 14, 2014 10:03 p.m.

Francesca Arnaudo can work a room.

It’s an impressive skill – one that takes equal amounts of charm and sincerity without the overkill that would just make one come off as disingenuous. And as a Ripon High School senior, Arnaudo’s tact for the social scene is even more impressive.

There’s genuineness in the way that moves about and talks to those around her. There’s a quiet air about her.

Maybe it’s because she grew up around the Almond Blossom Festival and has fond memories of when she – a young child at the time – got to give the reigning Almond Queen a rose during one of the ceremonies that continues to this day.

Maybe it’s just because that’s who she is as a person – a somewhat shy but mindful young woman who hopes that the experiences that she has following in the footsteps of hundreds like her will help give her valuable skills that she’ll be able to carry on for life.

And maybe it’s just because she wants to feel out those around her like nearly everybody else in the world.

“I remember doing that as a little girl and it was such an amazing experience, and of course my friends all pushed me to do this year,” Arnaudo said. “I think that I’m really going to get a lot out of it, but it’s going to be different.”

Like her fellow contestants, Arnaudo – who is competing for the crown along with Kaitlynn Bradley, Kaylie Schaeffer, Jessica Carmona, Krista Tyhurst, Alyssa Sikkema and Desirey Ormonde – says she appreciates being given the opportunity to grow up in such a small town where everybody knows one another and there’s an overwhelming sense of safety among the parents and the children as well.

Currently she’s involved with FFA Leadership, the Anime Club, the Food Club and Girls League.

Gaining a better understanding on what it takes to make a good public speaker, she said, is one of the things she hopes to take with her. Making friendships with an amazing group of girls, she said, is also something that is fresh on her mind.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity and a great experience,” said the daughter of John and Mary Arnaudo. “My favorite part of the Almond Blossom Festival has always been the parade because you can see the queen contestants as they come down Main Street.

“This year I get to be one of those queen contestants. That’s pretty cool.”

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...