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Alahri is pursuing a childhood dream
Lina Alahri - photo by Photo Contributed


• WHAT: 49th annual Ripon Almond Blossom Festival Feb. 24-27
• 1ST EVENT: Almond Blossom Kick-Off Dinner
• WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 13, 6 p.m.
• WHERE: Spring Creek Golf & Country Club
• MORE INFO: Call the Ripon Chamber of Commerce at 599-7519

RIPON – Lina Alahri remembers when she would sneak over to the Almond Blossom parade route as a kid and watch wide-eyed as what seemed like the world’s longest parade passed by.

One part in particular though always captivated her attention – the Almond Queen that elegantly waved to the crowd and seemed to exude a sense of confidence that seemed unattainable for such a young girl.

Now that she’s all grown up, the 18-year-old Ripon High senior will now get her chance to be that girl riding in the parade.

“My friend Sarah Ambrose did it last year, and I was talking to a lady that I worked with about it and she told me that I should do it. I asked her if she was serious and she said yes so I got the application and turned it in,” Alahri said. “I just thought it would be something that I would like.”

When it comes to school Alahri is active in volleyball, basketball and Relay for Life. She likes to spend her time away from school dancing, playing tennis and biking.

The “fun, outgoing, and exuberant” daughter of Fathia Elsuneri also keeps busy with other extra-curricular activities like Girls League, Estudiantes Unidos, FHA Hero and GSA, and hopes that her exposure to the Almond Queen Court will only help her learn more about herself.

“I’m hoping to be able to go out and meeting more people and learn how to not be as shy as I am right now,” Alahri said. “When meeting new people I tend to be kind of shy,  and that’s something that I’d like to change about myself and I hope this experience can allow me to do that.”

And while the world can seem to so large when growing up in such a small community, Alahri says that she loves Ripon and the way that the community comes together for things like the Almond Blossom Festival and sticks together when tragic things occur.

“The way that I see it, Ripon is kind of like a family,” she said. “I know there are a lot of Ripon High students who complain that it’s too small and there isn’t enough to do, but when you see the way the students and the town come together like they did last year when those bad things happened it makes you appreciate calling this town home.”