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Etiquette training all part of the Almond Blossom queen courts program
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It was much to do about etiquette training and modesty when six Ripon girls signed their contracts to take part in the upcoming contest for the crown of Almond Blossom Queen.

Our family has been in awe for most of those 50 years, having attended the parades and many of the formalities that led up to the actual crowning. 

One of the most memorable was the Atlanta Women’s Club’s luncheon and dinner held in the early years at their old clubhouse at French Camp and Jack Tone roads.  The Queen’s court would always be on hand – greeting folks table to table – selling them festival tickets – a source of points contributing to their selection.

It was impressive to hear Soroptimist’s Debra Emig tell the girls exactly what is going to be expected of them in the coming two months leading up to the annual festival and queen crowning at the end of February.

Speech proficiency,  and how they should act when meeting with judges face-to-face, were all part of Ripon’s expectations for the young lady who will be expected to represent the community to the best of her ability.  Gum chewing was also mentioned as a no-no.

Emig spoke to the subject saying, “I think it goes a long way for them to know how to act as young ladies,” she stressed. “We mentor the girls, choose their escorts and accompany them on tours throughout the business community.”

Soroptimists have been hosting the girls for the last 15 years with Emig at the helm for the last six.  It was out of the 10 applications that were turned in this year that the six were chosen.

Next on their agenda is to individually meet out-of-town judges prior to the Chamber of Commerce festival Kick-Off and Tribute dinner to be held at Spring Creek Country Club Thursday, Jan. 10.  A no-host bar will open at 6 p.m. and dinner is set for 7 with the girls appearing in their evening gowns.

In addition to the judges’ scoring, the candidates receive points on everything they do during the period that leads up to the actual crowning of Miss Almond Blossom prior to the annual parade.

In addition to their individual interview with the judges, the contestants will present after dinner three-minute speeches to their guests focusing on the mission of Bethany Home entitled, “Blossoming with Age.”

The queen candidates chose their speech category by lot when they signed their contracts last week in the chamber office.

The speech topics will include:  Skills of Nursing, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Adult Day Services, In-home Care, and Independent Living including the Senior Meal Program.

Tickets may be picked up at the Ripon Chamber of Commerce office at 929 West Main Street.  Cost is $30 each.  Deadline for ticket sales is Wednesday, Jan. 9.