For the nine candidates in this year’s Summerland Blossom Pageant, the weekend was a time of excitement and emotion.
The 45th annual pageant is the culmination of a year-long developmental program for 16- and 17-year-old girls in the community.
The preparations begin in October and in the months leading up to the pageant weekend, the candidates attend various community events and participate in personal interviews with the judges.
They are also required to take a written knowledge on the community
On Saturday, the judges named Erin Sorensen as this year’s Blossom Queen, while Emma Thomson and Martha Headland were named princesses. Candidates selected Taylor Thurlin as Miss Congeniality.
Over the next year, the queen and two princesses will attend numerous functions locally and around the province. The schedule is busy, with events almost every weekend from May to October.
While the pageant weekend and coronation attract a lot of attention, it is important to remember that all nine candidates have benefitted from the entire time spent in the preparations for the pageant.
Some of the candidates this year and in previous years have overcome shyness. Others have developed confidence while making public speeches or improved their interview skills.
These skills and others will help them in any public roles in the future.
Some of past royalty and past candidates have later moved into high-profile roles where their pageant training has benefitted them.
In the future, some of this year’s candidates will likely find themselves in similar roles.
For those who go through the program, the training and preparation from the pageant experience will have huge benefits in the years to come.