Winter may have just begun, but it is not too early to start preparing for the 2019 Strawberry Festival. After weighing among 25 applicants, the five members of the Strawberry Court were announced this week. They are:
• Princess Isabella Ayala, 17, senior at Lebanon High School, daughter of Tom Ayala and Mary Lou Belozer.
• Princess Svea Bruslind, 17, senior at Lebanon High School, daughter of Linda and Scott Bruslind.
• Princess Hanna Davis, 17, senior at Lebanon High, daughter of Allen and Holly Davis.
• Princess Avery Hartl, 17, senior at East Linn Christian Academy, daughter of Jennifer Hartl and Jason Hartl.
• Princess Maddy Romeo, 17 senior at Lebanon High School, daughter of Robb and Lori Romeo.
Andrea Bruce, court coordinator for the Lebanon Strawberry Festival, explained the process of picking the court. All 25 applicants are invited to attend an interview and their written applications are reviewed. At this point judges select the 10 finalists.
The finalists are required to submit additional written information and attend a social event which is hosted by representatives of the Strawberry Festival and features other local leaders.
This allows the judges to see the candidates at an event similar to the ones they will be attending in their duties as members of the court. Judges then decide on the five members of the court.
The court traditionally makes its first public appearance in early March.
The theme of this year’s festival is “Strawberry Adventure.” This will be the 110th edition of the event and it will be held May 30 –June 2.
In 2018, the Strawberry Festival Junior Court was reintroduced after a long absence. That court will return for 2019 and will once again feature second-graders from each of Lebanon’s elementary schools. Bruce said the process of selecting that court will begin in January.