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Strawberry Festival seeking royalty for 2008-2009 season

MARYSVILLE For the first time in a long time, the Strawberry Festival royalty will be just that: kings and queens, princes and princesses are back for the 2008-2009 season.
And the Strawberry Festival is looking for applicants to serve in the festival court this summer: qualifying students in the Marysville and Lakewood school districts as well as private institutions should be juniors or seniors with a 3.0 grade point average or better. In past years, the court members were called ambassadors and royal ambassadors, but this year the ladies will be titled the Strawberry Festival queen and princesses. Boys are also eligible and have won in the past; they will be called king and princes if selected. The king or queen receives a $3,000 college scholarship, the two princes or princesses earn a $2,000 scholarship.
The royalty court will be presented during the April Friesner Royalty Scholarship Pageant March 29 at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium. Three junior royalty are also selected in a separate function on Jan. 14. Applicants for the three junior royalty must be sixth-graders with 3.0 GPA in either the Marysville or Lakewood districts, and like the senior royalty they can be home-schooled or in private schools in the same area. They earn a $100 stipend and get to ride in the Strawberry Festival float.
The deadline for the senior royalty applications is Dec. 19; for the junior royalty it is Jan. 14, 2008.
For pageant co-chairperson Christa Miller, the chance to serve as royalty is a great opportunity for teens to build their self-confidence and hone their public speaking skills. Millers daughter Cassie is the reigning royal ambassador and while she was already an outgoing person who would sing for crowds at the drop of a hat, mom said her daughter became much more polished and sophisticated in dealing with the public. More importantly, the teen became for empathetic to others and learned to listen. While riding the Strawberry Festival float and making public appearances throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada can be exhausting, it generates memories that will last a lifetime.
Its promoting Marysville, our community, throughout the Northwest, Miller said.
M-P senior Alicia Coraguilo was an ambassador this summer and said her experiences with the festival were the best shes ever had.
It was really cool to become a community role model, Coraguilo said. It was never really a lot of work; it was a lot of fun.
The long days could be stressful but she met a lot of people, and said she really liked the Maryfest folks and her co ambassadors Cassie Miller and Brooklynn El Fattal.
For more information, applications are available in high school counseling offices and on the Strawberry Festival website, at www.marysfest.com.

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