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Almonds are in fashion in Ripon
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Almond Blossom Queen candidates surround the 2016 Miss Ripon Jessica Harlan fifth from left. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

It was an overflow crowd Thursday evening for the annual Almond Blossom Festival Fashion Show featuring the eight high school juniors who are vying for the queen’s crown.
The winner will also serve as Miss Ripon for 2017.
The Ripon Chamber of Commerce had planned on 144 guests attending the event at the Spring Creek Country Club but more walked through the doors of the country club’s dining room. Larry Stewart of the chamber  welcomed the guests. Laura Roots Spence acted as the master of ceremonies describing the outfits the queen candidates and what store provided the clothes.
Chairs were placed along both sides of the dining room creating a runway for the contestants who walked through the audience in their two individual outfits from shops in Ripon and Modesto.
The show first modeled casual wear followed by dressy ensembles and then contestants escorted by their dads led by the current Miss Ripon Jessica Harlan and her dad Jim.  She hopes to become a equine veterinarian. 
The “Nuts and Bolts” theme of the festival brought members of the Schemper ACE hardware store family with Jill and Bud Schemper modeling for the Ripon crowd.    
When the queen candidates were presented in their evening gowns near the end of the show, they were escorted by their fathers – or in one case a brother – who would stand to one side as they were handed a microphone to formally introduce themselves to the members of the audience.
They would then be escorted down the carpeted runway to the back of the dining room where the dads would twirl their daughters around formally presenting them to their family and friends.
The outfits were provided by Boutique Couture, Barbara’s Boutique and Tractor Supply, all of Ripon; Dress Barn, of Manteca, Penice & Ginger along with Ella Boutique, of Escalon and Rossini Formal Wear of Modesto. 
The fashion show had several intermissions where guests were provided with light deserts, coffee, tea and lemonade. 
The sponsors for the fashion show included Travaille & Phippen, Inc, Schemper’s ACE Hardware, Diamond Pet Foods, mcmanis Family Vineyards, Alfred Matthews Buick, NuCal Foods, Freedom Fire protection, Inc. Tuff Boy Leasing, Inc., Brocchini Farms, Oak Valley Community Bank, South San Joaquin Irrigation District, Kamps Propane, Bank of Stockton, City of Ripon, Ripon Consolidated Fire District, Ripon Police Department, Doctors Hospital of Manteca and Doctors Medical Center, Modesto.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email