Sporting local fashions and elegance, a royal tradition of Vernon Winter Carnival took to the runway Friday.
The Queen Silver Star Excellence Program Fashion Show saw the debut of the seven candidates and nine Little Miss Smith and Sons Princesses at the Schubert Centre.
Alongside retiring royalty Queen Silver Star LVIII Angitha Mriduraj and Princess Mackenzie Kuziw, the ladies entertained a full house of fans, sponsors and dignitaries.
The candidates are Miss Vernon Silver Star Rotary Madison Barrett, Miss Vernon V.W. Piper Cahoon, Miss Century 21 Realty Celina Galbraith, Miss North Okanagan Optimist Club Morgan Graham, Miss Bannister All Makes Collision and Glass Kylee Murphy, Miss Kalamalka Rotary Hayley Rakos and Miss Okanagan Restoration Services Cadence Taron. There were eight candidates but Miss Johnston Meier Insurance Miika Isnardy has had to bow out of the program.
Amanda Shatzko, who was recently named one of Canada’s most powerful women by the Women’s Executive Network, commended program and the ladies for stepping up.
“Success is fulfilling your potential meaning that success will be different to each and every one of us,” said Shatzko, Area C director and vice chair of the Regional District of North Okanagan.
“The skills that these young women are learning — from speechcraft to automotive — will help create the leaders of tomorrow.”
In fact, she hopes to one day be voted out by one of them.
“One day dethrone me to become the next youngest elected female official in the region.”
The excellence program, running 58 years now, is for women ages 16-18 to gain individual strength and confidence.
“It’s incredible to see how these young ladies develop character and how the represent Vernon is just incredible,” said Mel Arnold, North Okanagan-Shuswap MP.
Vernon Winter Carnival chair Deb White has been involved with Carnival for a decade now and is always impressed with the growth she sees in the candidates.
“The changes I see in them is just amazing,” said White, sporting her own fashion of a skull adorned frock and hat to match the theme of A Pirate’s Carnival.
The Queen Silver Star program is a large part, but just one feature of Carnival. The Feb. 1-10, 2019 event has 99 events, more than 60 of which are free.
“We have been working very hard to make sure this is a very successful year,” said White.
Tickets for all events go on sale Friday, Dec. 7 at 9 a.m. at the Carnival office (3401 35th Ave.) or online at vernonwintercarnival.com. One sell-out event will not be available online, but only in person at the office or by phone (250-545-2236).
“Suds and Cider is not available online this year because it crashes our system,” said White.
Mayor Victor Cumming is looking forward to the nearly 60-year-old Carnival and all the fun it has to offer.
“What a gift to the city,” said Cumming, whose high school girlfriend was Penticton’s Peach Princess in 1973.
Prior to all the Carnival fun, the Queen Silver Star candidates are continuing their program, including a Speech Competition on Monday, Dec. 10. Then prepare to be entertained at the Talent Showcase Jan. 6 prior to the Proclamation and Coronation of Queen Silver Star LIX on Jan. 31.