Young royalty accept crowns, free rides

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- A girl from Niles and a boy from Buchanan were selected as the Apple Festival's latest couple of royalty on Thursday.
Jarrett Thomas, 6, was selected new Apple Festival Prince, and Haileigh Trujillo, 7, was selected the new Princess.
Thomas is the son of Sheila and Olliver Thomas, and Trujillo is the daughter of Peter and Laury Trujillo.
The two take over from Ethan Mokwa and Rochelle Dodge, who were the 2002 Apple Festival Prince and Princess.
The new prince and princess were selected in a random drawing which gave each participant, all between five and eight years old, the same chance of winning.
Each participant had to enter the stage and answer one question in front of parents, relatives and friends.
To some, that appeared to be more intimidating than to others.
The stage was set against a backdrop of white and yellow balloons and flanked on each side by two huge red popcorn containers.
For both sets of parents, it seemed surprising their children beat the odds and were selected in a contest that drew fewer contestants than last year.
He snapped many memorable pictures of his daughter when the Miss Apple Festival 2003 and her court gave the new princess her crown.
Standing with his daughter and wife in front of the stage after the selection, however, it seemed as though the new princess had grown right into her new role, which means free rides for the duration of the Apple Festival.
Jarrett's mother, Sheila, was also surprised that her son was selected among 13 boy participants.
She signed her son up for the selection when event hostess Misty Gano came to her work looking for sponsors.
Gano thanked everyone who sponsored the Prince and Princess selection.
She also recognized the work all Apple Festival volunteers for the work they put into the festival.
She seemed happy to be back in the tent with her princes and princesses.
The Senior King and Queen, Richard and Irma Reed, were also present at the selection, which took place in the Main Tent.
Tracy Fortune was event chair. Gano was co-chair.

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