Blossom time may have come early again this year, but the 46th annual Summerland Blossom Pageant was held right on schedule, the first weekend of May at Centre Stage Theatre.
Nine amazing young women took part in the Pageant, hoping for the opportunity to represent Summerland for the next year.
Sarah Gottwald, Miss Avery Law Office was crowned Miss Summerland, with Khush Saran, Miss IGA and Chloe Collins, Miss Kiwanis, being named as princesses.
Chosen by her fellow contestants as Miss Congeniality was Sydnee Chick.
The audience couldn’t help but be awed by the talent and depth of insight and character displayed during the Talent and Speech competition, on Friday evening.
Speech topics were about tolerance, mental health, the United Nations, confidence, beauty, theater, volunteering, Killer Whales and the inner self.
The talents displayed ranged from song, dance, theater, painting and poetry to sewing and photography.
On Saturday evening, each candidate formally introduced themselves and their sponsors.
Greetings and words of praise for the program and participants were delivered by Mayor Peter Waterman and MLA Dan Ashton. Waterman also thanked the retiring Royalty for being such “wonderful ambassadors for our community,” and presented each with a gift of appreciation.
Erick Thompson, president of the Chamber of Commerce, presented a cheque to the Blossom Pageant Committee.
The committee consists of three dedicated women, who run the program, Karen Hooper, Pat Gartrell and Leanne Sieben.
Visiting Royalty from throughout the Okanagan brought greetings and invitations to visit their cities and communities.
Entertainment was provided by the Royalty and candidates themselves, by way of a line dance and the famous “Frugal Fashion Show,” where outfits purchased from the Summerland Thrift Store are modelled.
The Talent Award winners from last year’s Pageant also performed, with Emma Thompson performing a monologue and Martha Headland singing and playing the ukulele.
Violin soloist Malear Schmidt played to the audience, while the candidates readied themselves for the Evening Wear and Impromptu Questions part of the competition, which was the last of the judged events.
Before the much anticipated Awards and Coronation, the 2015 Royalty gave a slide show presentation of their past years activities and said their final, tearful, farewell.
They expressed appreciation for having had the opportunity to represent Summerland and thanked their community, family, friends and “pageant mothers, Pat, Leanne and Mother Karen,” for their support.
Preceding the coronation the following awards were presented. The People’s Choice and Top Fundraising Awards went to Brianna Smith, Miss Rotary. The Committee Award went to Chloe Collins, Miss Kiwanis. The Talent Award went to Victoria Teo, Miss Shoppers Drug Mart. The Public Speaking and Volunteer Awards were given to Khush Saran, Miss IGA and the Knowledge Exam went to Erica Bidwell, Miss SADI.
Also completing the Pageant program were Aleah Nesdoly, Miss Zias and Summer Scott, Miss Action Festival.
Judges for the competition were, Stacey Bingham, Shannon Corps, Sara Noble and Peggy Kennedy.
Gottwald was overwhelmed with emotion upon being named Miss Summerland.
“I feel amazing. It doesn’t feel real,” she said. “I’m so excited.”
Also feeling excited was Princess Chloe Collins.
“It’s been a really good process and the whole thing was very exciting to go through and it’s nice that it’s all winding down now,” she said.
Princess Khush Saran said that winning was an amazing experience.
“I’ve learned so much in pageant,” she explained. “All the candidates did so amazing and they all taught me something different and I couldn’t have chosen a better group to go through this with. I’m so incredibly proud of everybody.”
Sydnee Chick, Miss Congeniality said, “I’m so honored. It’s such a great title and I’m so thankful to all my candidates. It’s such a great experience.”
Following the Coronation a Ball at the Arena Banquet Room was awaiting these young women, where they would be able to relieve some of their stress and excitement by dancing the night away.
As with every competition, not everyone can win, but the nine candidates who took part in the Blossom Pageant are all winners in the eyes of those who have watched them bloom.