RIPON – Kamie Goforth has always harbored ambitions to be a part of the Almond Blossom Queen competition.
So when the Ripon High junior became eligible this year, she jumped at the chance to submit her application and be a part of a tradition that spans almost 50 years.
“Ever since I moved here I’ve always gone to the Almond Blossom Festival,” Goforth said. “And ever since I’ve gone, I’ve always wanted to do it (become and Almond Queen Contestant.)
“I’m looking forward to the experience.”
Goforth – the daughter of David Goforth and Kristie Watts – currently serves as the President of the AVID club at Ripon High, and volunteers for both the Ripon Chiefs and Ripon Babe Ruth.
She also throws the discus and the shot put for the track team during the spring season.
When it comes to living in Ripon, Goforth says she loves the small-town feel and the fact that it’s really easy to get along with everybody.
“It almost seems like you don’t have to worry about very much in Ripon – it’s such a quiet place where everyone knows each other,” Goforth said. “It’s a great place to live.”
While she still has more than another year at Ripon High ahead of her, Goforth plans on attending Sonoma State University and becoming a teacher – hopefully moving back to Ripon to teach at her alma mater.
The experience of being an Almond Blossom Queen Contestant, she said, is something she hopes to take with her for the rest of her life.
“I hope to get the experience of speaking in front of people and writing speeches – things that aren’t part of the normal conversation,” she said. “Those are things that I want to work on, and this will give me the chance to do that.”
Other candidates this year are: Kate Ballatore, daughter of Mike & Kelly Ballatore, Kimberly Stegner is the daughter of Vincent and Athena Engel, Courtney Bryanne Netjes, daughter of Mark & LaDonna Netjes, Alexsandra Patricia Marie Peralta, daughter of Ron & Janine Van Groningen, Michelle Amrbose daughter of Ray and Betty Ambrose, Kimberly Jeane Stegner, daughter of Vincent & Athena Engel, and Camila Sweaney, daughter of Russell & Debra Sweaney.
The Almond Blossom Festival is the last weekend in February.
The Ripon Chamber of Commerce is holding their 47th Annual Almond Blossom Kick Off and Tribute Dinner on Thursday, Jan. 15, at the Ripon Community Center, 334 Fourth St. starting at 6 p.m.
The Chamber is honoring Soroptimist International Ripon this year. The theme is “Serving 18 Years of Community Service”, and the grand marshal is Judy Tvedt.