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9 vying for 2017 Almond Blossom title
Almond queen cand DSC 5097
Almond Blossom Queen hopefuls for 2017 include, from left, front row, Kayla Hutto and Sarah Shipherd; back row, Genevieve Maurice, Jessica Harlan, Nicolle Driessen, Samantha Jauregui, Kristin King and Ashly Gomez. Desiree Crus-Sampson was not able to be present. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

Candidates for the upcoming 2017 Almond Blossom Queen Contest gathered Saturday morning to hear what is going to be expected of them prior and during the three day festival on the last weekend of February.

All but three of the girls are from Ripon High School.  Two are from Ripon Christian and one is from Central Catholic High School in Modesto. 

The girls and several of their parents sat through a two hour orientation and final contract signing agreeing that they would be present at all the planning events and social gatherings prior to the crowning of the queen.

The girls go through an organized “finishing school” teaching them the appropriate away to walk, talk and sit properly at a dinner table including the basics of etiquette when they are out in public representing the Ripon Chamber of Commerce.

They will be giving two minute speeches at a Ripon Chamber of Commerce dinner at Spring Creek Country Club where they will all be introduced wearing gowns of their choosing.  The candidates will be visiting several clubs and organizations where they will be expected to interact with the members before and during the lunches and dinners.

They are all expected to sell 1,000 tickets to the festival and they will be judged on how many they sell.  In the past some candidates have sold as many as 4,000 at $1 each.  They money collected goes toward the cost of the queen’s event and scholarships that will be dispersed later.  The girls are not limited to selling their tickets in Ripon and may go to Manteca events as well. 

The young ladies are expected to be included in the upcoming Ripon Christmas Parade in the first week of December. It is expected they will carry a high profile in the community for months to come with smiles on their faces and festival tickets in their hands.


To contact Glenn Kahl, email