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She’s the queen

Michaela George to reign over Azalea Festival

After five princesses showed their talents on the Church of the Nazarene stage Friday night, a panel of judges chose Michaela Renee George as queen of the 75th Azalea Festival.

The queen was crowned by 2013 Queen Kayla Webre, who also presented a prize to Mikaela Lea, who was chosen runner up.

George was also presented the talent award and Lea received Miss Congeniality. Receiving the award for most tickets sold was Morgan Early.

The event opened with a dance presentation by the princesses followed by Master of Ceremonies Les Cohen, retired Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce executive director, introducing the judges — Roger Meader, Becky Ross, Mary Stansell, Ashley Lueckfeld and Carol Byers.

When the princesses donned street attire, Cohen introduced the names of the parents, future plans and career goals. When the evening gown attire was presented, each was asked a question that required an impromptu answer. During this phase of the competition, the princesses showed a curtsy and were escorted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard Station Chetco River — Andrew Cortez, Adrian Taberna, Christopher Beard, Douglas Maske and Ben Messick.

Between presentations, entertainment was provided by Brookings-Harbor High School’s Grace Notes and Sea Breeze. Pianist Virginia Riddle, who accompanied the school groups, also presented a performance of her own.

Cohen mentioned that last year, Rotary Exchange Student Alice Dutoit performed with the vocal groups during the pageant, and has gone on to see success competing on The Voice in her home country of Belgium.

Also taking place was the introduction of past royalty. Every year of the pageant, queens and princesses from previous years have been asked to stand and be recognized. This year, in marking the 75th festival, past royalty was asked to come on stage and introduce themselves. 

Included among past royalty was this year’s pioneer citizen June (Schrader) Hart who was crowed Azalea Festival queen in 1946. Hart was the first queen to be crowned after the festival was on hiatus during World War II. 

Patty (Short) McVay was queen in 1975, and everyone else on the stage was royalty from the 1980s to the present.

Attempts to contact George were unsuccessful. 

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