A royal tradition in Vernon has crowned two new leaders.
Miss Paradigm Naturopathic Medicine Angitha Mriduraj is Queen Silver Star LVIII. Her Princess is Miss Silver Star Rotary Mackenzie Kuziw — who was also named Miss Congeniality.
The pair were among the seven candidates in the Queen Silver Star Excellence Program, and were crowned Thursday evening at the proclamation and coronation at the Schubert Centre.
Mriduraj, a 16-year-old student at Clarence Fulton, was shocked as her name was announced at the event.
“Ecstatic,” is how she described her feelings, following tears of joy. “This is overwhelming, thank you so much.”
An equally-teary eyed Kuziw shared that sentiment.
“I am very overwhelmed and surprised. I am so happy for Angitha and I am so happy she gets to be my partner in crime for this experience, I am really excited,” said 16-year-old Vernon Secondary student Kuziw.
The decision resulted from a culmination of points from judges who watched the girls grow throughout the excellence program.
“This was a great group of young ladies this year,” said judge Wayne Lippert, impressed with the team work and success each of the girls showed.
“It worked out well and I think they (Mriduraj and Kuziw) are going to do great.”
Miss Downtown Vernon Association Saira Abid earned the Spirit Award and was named the Vernon Ambassador.
Thursday’s royal event marked the start of Vernon Winter Carnival — an annual tradition in the city taking place Feb. 2-11.
“We are looking forward to having an amazing carnival over the next two weeks,” said Mayor Akbal Mund.
“There are close to 100 events, many of them, 46, are free,” said carnival chairperson Deb White.
One event that has changed, in order to be bigger and better, is the hot air balloon glow.
While it normally takes place on the Friday evening start of carnival, it has been moved to next Friday, Feb. 9.
“The changes means more balloons can attend,” said White of the 14 balloons taking part this year thanks to the move.