The Rhody Festival has many iconic traditions, but perhaps the first that comes to mind is the Rhody Royalty. Its origins date back to the very first Rhody Festival in 1935, when a queen was chosen …
The Rhody Festival has many iconic traditions, but perhaps the first that comes to mind is the Rhody Royalty. Its origins date back to the very first Rhody Festival in 1935, when a queen was chosen out of
13 nominees to represent Port Townsend for a short film produced by Hearst Metrotone News. When the festival became a nonprofit in the 1980s, the competition developed into a full scholarship program. Now, the Royalty candidates must collect $1,000 in sponsorships and $800 in festival pin sales.
According to Coronation Director Lori Morris, they also participate in royalty training, give speeches to local service groups, and participate in a coronation that includes a prepared speech, a creative display, an unrehearsed onstage question, a formal wear presentation and an interview. An overall score in community service is also taken into account.
This year, senior Melody Douglas was crowned queen, and junior Paige Govia was crowned princess.
The candidacy process was rigorous.
“The hardest part for me was speaking to a group of people,” Govia explained. “But doing that helped me step out of my shell.”
For Douglas, it was the work load.
“Balancing [sponsorships and pin sales] with homework and school sports was tough,” she said.
When asked what their favorite part about being crowned royalty, Douglas and Govia both had the same response: community.
“I wouldn’t have met so many people if it wasn’t for this opportunity,” Govia said.
“I’m also looking forward to all of the traveling and adventures in my future,” Douglas added.
And adventures she will have. Rhody Week brings an extensive list of responsibilities for the royals, including judging the Kiddie Parade, making an appearance at the cake picnic and hosting visiting royalty from other festivals in the area.
“I even heard that I might be presented with a fish at some point during the
Grand Parade, and if that happens, it will be a highlight of the day!” Douglas said.
Be sure to keep an eye out for Rhody Royalty throughout the Rhody Week festivities.
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