Abbigale Foster, a senior at Phoenix High School, was crowned the queen of the Pear Blossom Festival during the festival's scholarship pageant Saturday at North Medford High School.

Abbigale Foster, a senior at Phoenix High School, was crowned the queen of the Pear Blossom Festival during the festival's scholarship pageant Saturday at North Medford High School.

"I'm feeling great," Foster said. "I'm surrounded by family and friends and tons of support."

As queen of the festival, Foster, age 18, wins a $2,000 college scholarship.

"My dad is really excited I can afford my dress now," Foster quipped. She wore a blue and aqua gown for the event.

She plans to attend Rogue Community College or Southern Oregon University to earn prerequisites to become a traveling nurse practitioner.

She was selected out of eight contestants based on school leadership skills, academic achievement, community involvement, an interview with the judges, writing and presenting an essay, and answering impromptu questions on stage, said Darcey Mann-Self, festival president.

Foster's royal court riding on the garden-theme float in the festival parade April 11 is first runner-up Heather O'Keefe, of Butte Falls, and second runner-up Erin Hedrick, of Eagle Point.

Each participant earned a $500 college scholarship.

About 700 people showed up at North Medford Saturday to watch the 19th annual pageant, including Foster's parents Ida and Rickert Foster.

"This was a wonderful experience that taught her a lot," Ida Foster said. "She'll treasure this experience for the rest of her life."