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Best bakers picked for almond recipes
BOTTOM left parade
The parade makes its way down Fourth Street. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

The sweepstakes trophy in the 52nd annual Ripon Almond Festival Parade Saturday went to the Ripon Future Farmers of America.

The course of the parade that had 100 entries was reversed this year beginning on Fourth Street and traveling up toward Main Street.  The reviewing stand was in the 400 block of Fourth in front of the Ripon Community Center.

The best float award went to the Ripon 4-H. Ripon High School took top honors for its band.  The most entertaining trophy went to Shaeffer’s Tae Kwon Do with students going through their routines on the parade route.

The Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) was credited for being the entry with the most hometown spirit – exhibiting multiple units. 

The Almond Blossom Baking Contest was open to three age groups and to the members of the Queen’s court.  Children 5 to 11 could enter as beginners as well as those 12 to 17 as juniors and senior competitors 18 and over.

In the “cakes” category, taking first place in the beginners’ group was Anna Cover with her Almond Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake.  Second place went to Natasha Smith who made a 7-Up Almond Cake.

In the cakes senior division Beverly King won first with her Orange Almond Cake.  Second place went to Amy Costa for a Glazed Almond Bundt.  Third place honors went to Janelle Hedegard for a Cherry Chip Sponge Cake.

Judges sampling the cookies and bars gave their first place award in the beginners’ division to Sage Peterson for her White Almond Bars.  Second went to Kailee Jackson for her entry of Sugar Almond Cookies and third in beginners went to Leah Van Dorst for her Almond Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies.

In the junior division Gianna Smith won first place with Almond Paste Bars; second place went to Amy Cover for her Cherry Pie Bars and third went to Mary Cover for Almond Raspberry Bars.

Di Quaresma took first place in the senior division, 18 and over group, for her CA Almonds Triangle Cookies; second place was given to Marge Pasma for her Almond Paste Bars and third went to Amy Lee for Almond Joy Cookies.

Two members of the Queen’s Court entered their recipes taking first and second place honors.  The first place award went to Krista Tyhurst for her Elegant Raspberry Almond Bars.  Second place was taken by Francesca Arnaudo’s Great Grandma’s Biscotti.

Only two age groups took part in the candies’ competition – junior and senior bakers. 

Nicole Berghorst took first place in the junior division with her Peanut Butter Treat.  Ann Pendleton picked up a first in the senior division with Almond Toffee. Second place in the older group went to Dakayla Dabney for her Almond Toffee Candy.

First place honors in the pastries – no pies – went to Anna Cover in the beginners division with a Tea Ring entry.  Rosel Vanderplaasts won first in the senior division with an Almond Tart.  Mary Swier Bolhuis took a second with a Triple Almond Kringle.

First place in the Special Chocolate category went to Sara Liesenfeld for her Dark Chocolate Almond Cupcakes.

The judges in the baking contest were Shirley Jorgensen, Esther Alves, Nancy Cardwell, Bronwyn Escola, Gidget Andrade, Cecelia Fernandes, John Mangelos, Don Lee, Ken Hildebrand and Amanda Smith.