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Almond Blossom fashion show Wednesday
Almond Blossom Logo 2015.jpg

Fifteen girls are vying for Almond Blossom / Miss Ripon queen.

According to the Ripon Chamber of Commerce, they’re part of a long-standing Ripon tradition, which recognizes the bravery, pride, and kindness represented in the youth of the community.

They’ve already conducted personal interviews amid a panel of three judges, provided speeches related to the history of the 2022 Almond Blossom Grand Marshal – the Ripon Garden Club – and took part in a timed essay.

On Wednesday, the queen candidates will complete the final of the four activities – the annual Almond Blossom Queen / Miss Ripon Fashion Show at Calvary Reformed Church, 741 Second St., beginning at 6 p.m.

The queen will be crowned at the Feb. 24 coronation event at the Ripon Community Center.

Among the candidates are:

Annie Wild

She’s a runner, dancer and journalist.

The challenge of providing shared information about what’s new at school and community is what intrigues her about the latter. Wild, who hopes to become a public relations manager, writes for The Smoke Signal online publication at Ripon High.

“In my free time, I enjoy Bible journaling, including sketching representations of my favorite verses,” she in her Almond Blossom queen candidate bio.

Wild dances at the Ripon Academy of Dance and capped off her cross country season by qualifying for the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships, Division IV, girls competition, for the second time in three years, in Fresno last November.

She also a member of the Indians track team.

Wild plans to attend a four-year college to major in mass communications.

Makenzie Loechler

She’s a standout two-sports star for the Indians.

Loechler is a solid player on the RHS volleyball team and an adept scorer and rebounder for the Indians basketball squad. Both teams finished second this year in the Trans-Valley League.

She’s involved in Leadership, currently serving as the ASB Junior Class President – the previous year, Loechler was the Sophomore Class President – and, in addition to running track, was involved in Link Crew, welcoming and helping acclimate freshmen to high school life and life on campus.

She also holds a parttime job, adding to her busy schedule.

“I’m very excited to be part of the Almond Blossom process along with the 14 amazing girls,” Loechler said.

Brianna Alvarez

Being a princess is something she’s thought of doing for years.

For that, Alvarez is proud to be part of a Ripon tradition.

At Ripon High, she’s in her first year in the Leadership program, serving as of the Spirit Commissioners.

Alvarez is the oldest of three – her sibling are brothers J.J., 13, and Isaiah, who is 10 – and enjoys going on wacky adventures with her family.

She’s currently taking computer classes with hopes of becoming a video editor and producer at a big-time media company.

Alvarez would like to move to Oregon and attend the University of Portland.


60th annual Almond

 Blossom events

·         Feb. 24-27 – Vendor Fair and Carnival at Mistlin Park.

·         Feb. 24, Thursday – Bake Off, 7-10 a.m., Ripon Community Center; Lion’s Club Spaghetti Dinner (Ripon Community Center), 4:30-7 p.m.; Miss Almond Blossom Coronation (Ripon Community Center), 7 p.m.

·         Feb. 25, Friday – Community Stage live music “Teen Night” featuring bands from GK Music School, 5-8 p.m.; Quarterback Club Golf Tournament at La Contenta Golf Club, Valley Springs.

·         Feb. 26, Saturday – Ripon Grange Pancake Breakfast, Ripon Grange Hall, 6-10 a.m.; Almond Blossom Festival Fun Run, featuring 8K or 1-mile races, Mavis Stouffer Park (shirt, medal and goodie bag for participants), 8:30 a.m. (one mile), 9 a.m. (8K); Immanuel CRC Bake Sale (9 a.m.-2 p.m.) and Lunch (11 a.m.-2 p.m.); Diaper Derby, Ripon High North Gym, 10 a.m.; Community Stage Live Music (Mistlin Sports Park), noon-8 p.m.; Almond Blossom Festival Parade at 1 p.m. (downtown Ripon, starting at Stockton Avenue); Quarterback Club Brats and Drinks, Ripon Community Center, 1 p.m.-7 p.m.