Pear Blossom queen contestants announced

Nine Jackson County high school senior girls will compete to serve as queen of the 2013 Pear Blossom Festival in Medford. The 23rd Annual Senior Royalty Scholarship Pageant will be held at 7 p.m. March 30 in the North Medford High School auditorium.

Contestants are Shelby Minor of Ashland High School, Julia Ribeiro of North Medford High, Alondra Esquivel of South Medford High, Micaela Saling of Eagle Point High, Shea Fuller of Cascade Christian High, Shantelle Oswald of Butte Falls High, Amanda Hill of Crater High, Osmaida Balbuena of Phoenix High and Heather Lass of Prospect High.

The young women will be judged on school leadership skills, academic achievement, community involvement, an interview with the judges, writing and presenting an essay, and answering impromptu questions on stage.

Each princess earns a $500 college scholarship. The winner becomes queen, reigns over the Pear Blossom Parade on April 13, and receives a $2,000 college scholarship sponsored by Kogap, Inc.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the March 30 pageant. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for students, with no charge for children younger than 6.

Over the past 22 years, the Pear Blossom Festival Association has given out in excess of $100,000 in scholarships to more than 150 young women. The pageant was created in 1991 by the late Patti Bills, current pageant director Darcey Mann-Self and Val James.

Entertainment at the event will include performers from the Dance Arts Center and the winners of the USA Dance Young Ballroom Dance Competition held in February.

The Pear Blossom Junior Royalty Court will be selected earlier that day. The 60th annual Pear Blossom Festival is sponsored by Rogue Federal Credit Union.

For more information, call Mann-Self at 541-840-7209.

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