Old and new fashions shared the stage during Thursday’s Almond Blossom Fashion show in the Ripon Community Center .
The event showcased the candidates vying for the Almond Blossom Queen crown to reign during the Feb. 23-25 event as well as Miss Ripon 2017 Jessica Hahn plus members of the Ripon Historical Society. The organization is being honored by the Ripon Chamber of Commerce this year during the premier community event.
The queen hopefuls donned casual clothing and formal attire before an appreciative crowd of 150.
Emcee for the evening was the queen contest coordinator Laura Spence who announced the girls as they came out between the many round tables and later with their dads and boyfriends as their escorts dressed in tuxedos.
There were also five children in the fashion fling who often stole the show. They were sisters Roxy and Tessa Brown, Maxwell King, Eddie and Emmitt.
Ripon Museum director Connie Mortensen wore her husband Cliff’s great grandmother’s wedding dress from 1892. Josie Franzia was stunning in her own wedding gown when she wed Louie Franzia in November of 1953 and had no trouble at all fitting into the dress, she said.
Miss Ripon 2017 Jessica Harlan was escorted by her dad Jim Harlan. She is currently a senior at Ripon High School. She plans on attending Modesto Junior College and then transferring to Colorado State University where she would like to reach for a degree in equine science or animal science and become an equine veterinarian with her own practice.
Princess Kate Phelps was escorted in the fashion show by her dad Jed Phelps. A junior at Ripon High she hopes to go out of state and get a degree in Kinesiology and become a therapist and eventually open her own practice. Her mother Dana is the principal of Ripon Elementary School.
Princess Gianna Smith was escorted at the fashion show by her grandfather, former Ripon Christian High School teacher Jerry Terpsma. A junior at Ripon Christian High School, she plans to attend Chico State University with a major in Agriculture and a minor in Special Education. Gianna hopes to become an Ag teacher in the future.
Savanna Mendoza was escorted into the fashion show by her boyfriend Alec Kelly. A junior at Ripon High, she hopes to attend a four-year college where she can pursue her dreams of being in the medical field. She hopes to major in micro-biology or biological science and minor in biomedical engineering.
Elysia Medina came into the hall on the arm of her boyfriend Austin Downey. She also is a junior at Ripon High and plans to major in animal behavior, animal psychology and wildlife biology. She would eventually like to work with Panda Bears in China.
Saylor De Abreu was escorted by her father Ralph. She is a junior at Ripon Christian and is planning to attend a four-year college and major in biology or chemistry with a concentration on forensics. Saylor is thinking she would like to pursue a career in the industry of forensic science and work in Los Angeles County or possibly for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The queen candidates are looking forward to the Coronation of the Almond Queen on Thursday, Feb. 22, and the Almond Blossom Parade on Saturday, Feb. 24 when they will ride in open cars throughout the parade route.