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Winner selected tonight via livestream
From left, are Almond Blossom queen hopefuls Gabrielle Martin, Riley Rangel, Brenda Vega, Kalani Kahandawala, Emma Phelps; (second row) Abigail Thompson, Jaedyn Hendryx, Naomi Wilbur, Rylie Kackley, and Katelyn Cardoza.

Who will be the next Miss Ripon / Almond Blossom Festival Queen?

The answer to that will be announced tonight (Thursday) at 5:30 p.m. via livestream on the Ripon Chamber of Commerce website ( or on Facebook.

The candidates for the 59th annual Almond Blossom Festival are Katelyn Cardoza, Jaedyn Hendryx, Rylie Kackley, Kalani Kahandawala, Gabrielle Martin, Emma Phelps, Riley Rangel, Abigail Thompson, Brenda Vega and Naomi Wilbur.

Last week, they took part in last week’s virtual fashion show held at Calvary Reformed Church.

“It went great,” said Chamber President and CEO Kelly Donohue. “The girls had fun in making it look like a normal activity during the (COVID-19) pandemic.”

Most of the Almond Blossom Festival activities were canceled this year due to the coronavirus, including the parade.

The Chamber did recognize the Ripon Consolidated Fire District, in celebrating the 100th year anniversary of “Protecting What’s Important,” as this year’s grand marshal.

The RCFD board selected fire Chief Dennis Bitters, who’s held every post in the department since coming aboard in 1982, as representative of the honorary position.

The crowning of the queen – she’ll take over the reign from 2020 Miss Ripon / Almond Blossom Queen Abigail Laswell – will be held at Calvary Reformed Church.

For more information, call the Chamber office at 209.599.7519 or log on to the website.


Spaghetti dinner Saturday

The traditional Ripon Lions Club Almond Blossom Spaghetti Dinner will take on a drive thru format.

It is set for Saturday, Feb. 27, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the VFW Post parking lot with entrance from South Olive Avenue.

It will feature spaghetti, salad, and bread. Advance tickets are $10 per person.

Tickets are available from any Lion member, Darryl Bartels Insurance, 210 S. Stockton; Ripon Chamber of Commerce, 104 S. Stockton, of Jack Doornewaard at (209) 495-9089.