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Dinner Thursday kicks off 2018 Almond Blossom Festival events
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Six Almond Blossom Festival queen candidates from Ripon High and Ripon Christian High will speak Thursday night at Spring Creek Country Club during the Ripon Chamber of Commerce 56th Annual Kick-off Dinner.
A cocktail social hour is set for 6 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. The event is expected to draw 150 guests.
Chamber President Tamra Spade will act as the emcee.  Spade announced the theme for the festival and for the evening as “Once Upon a Time” honoring the Ripon Historical Society.
Docents from the Veterans’ Museum and the Clarence Smit Museum are expected to be accepting plaques during the evening.  
The contest winner will be crowned just prior to the festival taking place Feb. 16-18.  After the festival they will serve as Miss Ripon 2018.
Each hopeful will make a speech after they are introduced. Reigning 2017 Miss Ripon Jessica Harlan will also be in attendance.
During the two months prior to the festival they will be attending luncheons with service clubs and visiting businesses and industries in the greater Ripon area and selling raffle tickets to  provide funds for the scholarship Miss Ripon will be receiving toward her future college education.
Those vying for Almond Queen and the Miss Ripon crown include Kate Phelps, Gianna Smith, Savanna Mendoza, Elysia Medina, Manaia Pio and Saylor De Abreu. 
Tickets may be purchased at the Ripon Chamber of Commerce Office at 104 South Stockton Avenue for $40 each or online at or call the chamber office at 209- 599-7519.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email