A 17-year-old senior at Stratford Academy became the first Cherry Blossom queen to pocket a $2,000 scholarship Saturday night.
Chandler Peavy was crowned from a field of 12 high school seniors at the 2014 Lester M. Miller Cherry Blossom Queen and Princess Pageant at the Grand Opera House.
Its amazing, and I just cant wait to start doing my role as Cherry Blossom Queen, Peavy said as her crown kept slipping off her head. I just cant be more excited right now.
The cheerleader and varsity tennis player was also presented with a custom designed cherry blossom diamond necklace from Bashinski Fine Gems and Jewelry that she will wear during festival appearances.
The pink enamel cherry blossom with a diamond crown and accents will be passed to future queens.
For the first time, all contestants were required to have at least a 3.0 grade point average to compete.
Each of the four Cherry Blossom princesses will be receiving $500 scholarships in addition to their tiaras and sashes.
First runner-up Kate Long is a 17-year-old senior at Mount de Sales Academy.
All of the remaining princesses are from Stratford Academy: second runner-up Katie Hlavaty, 17; third runner-up Claudia Monfort, also 17; and 18-year-old Alexandria Power is fourth runner-up.
The festival also crowned 2014 Senior Queen Rhonda Moulder, of Warner Robins, whose daughter, Macy, was a Cherry Blossom Princess in 2011.
Macons Jo Ann Bryant will serve as the 2014 Senior Princess.
Moulder and Bryant were selected based on their community involvement and letters of recommendation.
At the Chichesters Sweet Beginnings pageant at the Museum of Arts and Sciences earlier this month, 5-year-old Sophie Durden was crowned Little Miss Cherry Blossom and Byrons Ayden Birmingham was selected as Little Mr. Cherry Blossom.
Not only will the royals be present at many events during the festival, the seven remaining high school contestants at Saturdays pageant were awarded medallions and invited to serve as ambassadors March 21-30.
To contact Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.