A 20-year-old biology and business major at Wesleyan College will serve as the 2012 Cherry Blossom Queen.
Abigail Jones of Augusta was crowned Saturday night at the Douglass Theatre, where 12 contestants vied for spots on the royal court.
"I'm just in shock and am still trying to catch my breath," Jones said after donning her new pink and rhinestone silver crown and pink velvet cape.
The sophomore, who is minoring in accounting and works part-time as a GEICO customer service representative, was one of four Wesleyan students competing after the pageant age limit was increased to 22 this year as the festival explores whether to become a Miss America preliminary pageant.
Never miss a local story.
Howard High School senior Andrea Brown, 18, was selected first runner-up and will serve on the court along with 17-year-old Kaciee Yates, a Rutland High School senior, who was crowned second runner-up.
Mount de Sales senior Jillian Moorhouse was voted Miss Congeniality by the contestants.
Earlier Saturday at the Douglass, 40 youngsters competed for Little Mr. and Miss Cherry Blossom titles.
Tyler Burnett was crowned Little Mr. Cherry Blossom and Faith Buice will serve as Little Miss Cherry Blossom.
Both attended Saturday night's pageant as their first official duty on the royal court.
The 30th annual Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled for March 16 to the 25.