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Almonds & planting small town roots
Queen hopeful Krista Tyhurst likes what Ripon represents
Krista Tyhurst delivers her speech during the Almond Blossom Festival kick-off dinner at the Spring Creek Country Club. - photo by HIME ROMERO


• WHAT: 52nd annual Almond Blossom Festival
• WHEN: Feb. 21-23
• WHERE: Ripon’s Mistlin Sports Park
• INFO: For information or applications for the parade, Almond Blossom Fun Run or to be a vendor go to the Ripon Chamber of Commerce site at You can also drop by the chamber office at 929 W. Main St., Ripon, or call 599-7519 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Krista Tyhurst knows about small towns.

You could, in a sense, call her a Texan – it’s where she spent a good portion of her formative years, moving back to the Almond Capital of the World just a few years ago.

But her family has deep roots in Ripon. Her grandfather was a police officer in the community, ended up serving for years as the city’s planning director and now serves on the Ripon Unified School District Board of Trustees. And her father grew up in the small community.

And it’s those roots, and the desire to plant her own, that prompted her to throw her hat in the ring for the 2014 Miss Almond Blossom title. As one of seven young women vying for the crown – along with Jessica Carmona, Kaitlyn Bradley, Francesca Arnaudo, Kaylie Schaeffer, Desirey Ormonde and Alyssa Sikkema – Tyhurst hopes that she’ll be able to draw from the experience and build lifelong friendships in the process.

“I like how as an event it brings the town together and it’s a chance to see my dad’s friends and my grandfather’s friends getting together,” she said. “It’s one of those things that you have to see in order to appreciate.”

Tyhurst, who plans on attending MJC after graduating in the spring and then eventually transferring to Fresno State, is active in the community. For the last three years she’s served as the FFA President and has served on Ripon High’s Ag Mechanics competition team. And her list of accomplishments and finishes is even more impressive – earning nods for her expertise in growing and fabrication.

When she isn’t busy with school, or tackling donation drives for organizations like Interfaith Ministries or the UC Davis Children’s Hospital, Tyhurst said that she likes playing guitar, hunting, fishing and writing. She also likes spending time with children.

She considers herself to be determined, responsible and friendly.

The daughter of Ken and Kim Tyhurst, Krista said that she hopes that she can learn more about herself in the annual competition and develop skills that she can take with her into a career as an agriculture teacher at a local high school.

It’s all about making memories.

“I’m looking forward to the chance to make friends with all of the girls, and competing with confidence,” she said. “I want to learn how to speak freely and confidently and not be nervous when I’m talking in front of people. I want to learn a little bit more about the city, and about myself.

“I’m glad I have the opportunity.”