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Almond Blossom fashions on stage
A scene from last years Almond Blossom Festival. - photo by HIME ROMERO

America’s Next Top Model might be bound for New York or Los Angeles.

But that doesn’t mean that Ripon won’t have its own runway queens.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, Ripon’s Almond Blossom Queen contestants will take to the catwalk for the 52nd Annual Almond Blossom Fashion Show. They will strut their stuff in their last publicly judged performance before a queen is crowned later this month.

It’s fun. And it’s games. And it’s a chance for the community to come out and see the seven young women brave enough to endure a six-week long coming-of-age experience that puts them in touch with the community.

It’s all about helping to raise money for the Ripon Chamber of Commerce and its ongoing efforts to promote the community through events like the annual festival and business outreach.

“It’s about community involvement – it brings everybody out and it’s a chance for everybody to get together,” said Ripon Chamber Executive Tamra Spade. “It is tradition, and it’s all about tradition in this town.”

The event, which is being hosted by the Ripon Chamber of Commerce at the Ripon High School multipurpose room on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m., is one of a series of several that Soroptimist International of Ripon helps with in order to make the Queen’s Court successful. That includes mentoring the girls in a variety of capacities and helping to anchor the events that help to raise thousands of dollars for the chamber.

Stores that will be featured during the fashion show include Manteca’s Dress Barn, Manteca’s Simply Irresistible, Modesto’s Ragamuffin, Ripon’s Blush, Escalon’s Bedazzled, Modesto’s Rossini’s Formal Men’s Wear and Ripon’s Tractor Supply Co.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at the Ripon Chamber of Commerce, located at 929 W. Main Street. They can also be purchased at the door.

The 52nd Annual Ripon Almond Blossom Festival runs from Thursday, Feb. 20, through Sunday, Feb. 23. The weekend event kicks off with the crowning of Miss Almond Blossom on Thursday, Feb. 20 at the Ripon Community Center at 7 p.m. The carnival and the Ripon Almond Blossom Festival both begin on Friday, and the annual Almond Blossom Parade begins on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m.

For more information, contact the Ripon Chamber of Commerce at (209) 599-7519.