Newly crowned Little Mr. Apricot Jessie Chavez, 5, and Miss Apricot Lundyn Keeney, 5, commanded the judges’ attention by answering a series of questions that tugged many attendees’ heartstrings.
As tradition has it, the 16 contestants paraded around the stage to the traditional tune of “Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree” before and after the initial judging period. One by one, the contestants walked out from the wings, waved to the crowd and climbed onto a small platform that was designated specifically for them.
Jessie made a strong entry early in the contest by kissing his biceps—much to the crowd’s delight— before reaching the microphone. Jessie, son of Jessie Chavez Sr. and Lucia Jara, informed emcee Pat Dooley and co-host Stephanie Barraza that he plans to be a rock star when he becomes an adult. He also informed everyone that his favorite color is red because of the color headband worn by the fictional hero Raphael in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.
Lundyn Keeney, daughter of Chris and Erin Keeney, also made waves after giving the most delicate little curtsy to the judges before answering her questions. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Lundyn provided a unique response.
“I want to be a speech therapist because I love helping people talk, and someday I want to be a mom,” she said.
When asked what her favorite color was, Lundyn did not give the typical retort of any of the primary colors. Instead of pink or purple, her favorite color is gold because “it’s sparkly.”
Following closely in the winners’ wake were runner-ups Marcus Tamez, 6, the son of Saul and Alicia Tamez, and Mia Galvan, 5, the daughter of Kristina Munoz and Ray Galvan.
Marcus garnered attention when he said he wanted to become a police officer so he can “catch people.” His favorite color is blue because of the Cowboys.
Mia also attracted audience members with her sweet disposition and love for her baby brother, who she says she takes care of. Mia said when she grew up she wanted to be a dentist because she likes teeth “a little bit.”
After the 16 contestants presented an encore of “Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree,” audience members were entertained by six dances from Curtain Call Studios and Trinity Dance Center as the judges tallied up the final scores.
The 2013 court—Little Miss Apricot Brynn MacWilliams, Little Mr. Apricot Christian Vasquez and runner-ups Gino Brudnicki and Hailey Kolding—presented sashes and crowns to this year’s winners.
The contestants worked diligently for the past few months under the guidance of Chairman Gwendolyn Valentine and committee members Stephanie Medina and Tanya Brouse.
The contest began in 1971 in conjunction with Apricot Fiesta activities, according to emcee Dooley. Jon Washburn and Vicki Titus wore the first crowns.
Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24, or email@example.com.