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Carpenters crowned as senior royalty for festival
MARYSVILLE The Marysville Strawberry Festival crowned the first pair of senior royalty when George and Ginny Carpenter were ambushed at the Tulalip Bingo Hall on March 28.
The Tulalip Tribes host a weekly breakfast meeting for hardcore bingo fans and the Tribes senior affairs committee scheduled a meeting to lure Ginny Carpenter to the site. She was a former Strawberry Festival Princess in 1953 and was good-naturedly mortified to be selected this year with her husband of 52 years. Ginny drew a bead on her long-time friend and Maryfest board member Carol Kapua, who played Brutus to her Caesar. Only a week before Carpenter was phoning Kapua with suggestions.
I now know who Im going to get, Ginny said while pointing a finger at the scores of friends in the bingo hall. Ive got all your numbers.
Several Tribal leaders were present, including general manager Shelley Lacy and newly-elected chairman Mel Sheldon, Jr. Both were in on the con to lure Ginny, a Tribal member, to the early morning trap.
Thats why I came with all my paperwork, Ginny laughed, waving folders bursting with paperwork.
She said one tip-off was when George wanted to drive her to her volunteer work appointment at 7 a.m.
I had a hard time convincing Ginny that I was just going to get up just for the fun of it, he laughed.
Long-time friend Norma Richards was another conspirator who was getting an extra hard pinch from the former princess as she hugged her way around the room.
Shes debating whos shes going to smack now, Richards joked.
I dont know if I told you, but every weekend this summer you will be in a parade somewhere, Sheldon teased.
Maryfest crowns several senior royal couples, usually retired folks, often living in a retirement home somewhere in the area, and that always includes a Tulalip couple. Theres no hard and fast rule as to who gets selected, exemplified by the presence of the first Maryfest senior royalty, brother and sister Norby Wyakes and Dorothy Nudo. Ginny recalled how back in her day the gala event for the young royalty was held at the Seattle Yacht Club and there was no scholarship provided.
Before you had to sell tickets, she explained.
The Carpenters will be formally crowned again at the annual Tulalip Senior Luncheon May 10, and will only have to ride in the Grand Parade June 16, unless they feel like stirring up more trouble. With Ginny and George, youll never know.
And what ever else they want to do, we will have them there, said Kapua. This one is kind of special because theyve done so much.