A royal tradition reigning 60 years strong has crowned its latest.
Queen and Princess Silver Star LX were proclaimed during an elaborate evening at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Thursday.
Miss Okanagan Restoration Services Megan Fowles was crowned Queen and Miss Johnston Meier Insurance Piper Cahoon took the Princess title. The pair will be officially crowned at the Coronation Friday, at 5 p.m. at the Ice Palace at Civic Plaza.
The pair were among six candidates in the Queen Silver Star Excellence Program, which started six months ago.
Cahoon also earned the talent scholarship, for her ribbon dance. Fowles topped the Knowledge of Vernon exam during the program, earned the Speech Award and also the Blossom Award. The girls’ success sparked joy and even some tears in the crowd, particularly from Sarah Moorhouse of Okanagan Restoration Services as she watched her candidate take the top title.
Miss North Okanagan Optimist Club Eva Calder was named Miss Congeniality.
Miss Vernon Volkswagen Quintessa Louis took home the Spirit Award, People’s Choice for the talent for her fancy shawl dance and the fundraising scholarship.
In total, $7,000 was awarded in scholarships to the candidates for various skills including essay writing, speech, knowledge of Vernon and more.
Queen and Princess Silver Star will be at many Vernon Winter Carnival events over the next 10 days and will serve as ambassadors for Greater Vernon through the next year.
“Every one of the candidates are a winner, each a unicorn,” said Deb White, Carnival chairperson.
Local dignitaries also congratulated the young ladies for all they have achieved in the program and how much they have grown.
“I just think of tonight and the first night we introduced them and they were all quiet and shy,” said Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster.
While there were only six candidates this year, the program has seen hundreds take part since the first Queen was crowned in 1961 – Rhondda Oliver Biggs.
“It was changed the life of over 700 candidates,” said White.
The new royalty are among more than 90 entries taking part in Saturday’s parade, which starts at noon on 27th Street, travelling down 30th Avenue and 31st Street.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Vernon Winter Carnival continues until Feb. 16 with more than 125 events. Everything from a Kids Carnival to broomball competitions fill the 10-day agenda. And marking its 60th year.
The Carnival Kickoff and Celebration goes tonight at Kin Race Track from 4-7 p.m. There is a Cheers shuttle from the rec centre for anyone wanting to park at the rec centre.