Seniors Compete for Cherry Blossom Crown

A crown, a scholarship, and the reign over the city of Macon’s Cherry Blossom Festival.

These are the prizes that Stratford seniors Claudia Monfort, Chandler Peavy, Alexandria Power, Katie Hlavaty, and nine other girls from middle Georgia will compete for  Nov. 16 in the 2013 Cherry Blossom Pageant at the Grand Opera House Theatre.

The pageant is one of the Cherry Blossom’s kickoff events. In addition to earning college scholarships, the queen and four princesses will be crowned to reign over the festival.

Contestants must be high school seniors and maintain a 3.0 GPA. They are required to attend all four rehearsals, interview with a judging panel, and learn a choreographed dance. While competing on stage in their pink evening gowns, the girls will be judged on poise and personality.

Monfort decided to get involved with the pageant because “my great-grandfather, [William A. Fickling Sr.] brought the Cherry Blossom to Macon and so I was always raised around it.”

Once crowned, the queen and her court are expected to attend events throughout the Cherry Blossom Festival. They will reign for a year and also crown the next year’s queen.

Along with a crown and a bouquet of flowers, the queen is awarded a $2,000 scholarship. Each princess receives a $500 scholarship to the school of her choice.