This year’s Azalea Festival had to be rescheduled and many events had to be modified or eliminated to observe requirements of Phase 2 of Oregon’s reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, but important traditions are being observed, including the selection of a Grand Marshal for the parade and crowning of a queen.
Long-time resident and volunteer extraordinaire Pat Piper was named Grand Marshal in an announcement earlier this week, and Kaylee Cover was named the 2020 Azalea Festival Queen at the pageant held on June 20 at the Brookings Elks Lodge. Alonna Nails is first runner-up. Other members of the Azalea Court are Brooke Firestone, Cartyr Fitzhugh and Kasilyn Ulery.
Traditionally held over Memorial Day weekend, this year's festival is planned for July 17-19.
"I received the news that I had been selected for this honor while I was at the blood drive, surrounded by local volunteers, and dozens of Brookings-Harbor donors who came in to give blood and save lives,” Piper said. “I am excited to be the Grand Marshal, but know that I am just one of the many volunteers who make our beautiful community such a special place.”
She has been a Principal Broker at Century 21 Agate Realty in Brookings for the past 28 years. She worked as an agent in California for four years before moving here. During this tenure she has served as the Curry County Board of Realtors president twice, as Realtor of the Year twice, and is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Last year, Piper ranked #7 in sales for Century 21 in the entire state of Oregon.
Currently she is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Chetco Community Public Library. She is also the chair for the American Red Cross Blood Drive where she has been active for the past 24 years. She was awarded the Clara Barton Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Red Cross.
Piper is also an active board member for Sutter Coast Hospital. She volunteers at Coastline Neighbors, helping community people in need. And she has been appointed to the Curry County Suicide Awareness and Prevention Council. She served for many years on the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce Board and is Past President.
Still, she enjoys interesting vacations and in addition to having fun, uses hers as a volunteer to help those in need both in the U.S. and in China, Haiti and Cambodia.
Azalea Queen and Court
New Queen Kaylee is the daughter of Sherry Guthrie and Toby Cover. She will attend the University of Oregon as a political science major. Her talent was speed painting.
First runner-up Nails is the daughter of Amber and Lonnie Nails. She plans to attend Lane Community College to study nursing and to run track. Her talent was dance.
Those participating in the pageant competed in multiple categories including an interview, talent, and modeling casual wear and evening gown. Judging also included reviewing essays written by the young women to determine their commitment to their community.
The court will earn scholarships determined on their placement and the sponsor availability. Each princess will be awarded at least a $500 scholarship.
Fitzhugh was unable to participate in the pageant because of the change in dates related to COVID-19 restrictions. However, she is still very much a part of the Azalea Festival Court. She plans to attend Linn Benton Community College and Oregon State University with a goal of becoming a veterinarian.
Firestone is the daughter of Piper Griffin, Jimmy Griffin and Marvin Firestone. She will attend Southwest Oregon Community College on an art scholarship and plans to transfer to the University of Oregon. Her talent was vocal.
Ulery’ parents/grandparents are Amy Maynes, Joye Kerr and Tom Kerr. Her talent was dance and cheer.
This year's event will include the Azalea Festival Parade on Saturday, July 18, along with City Center Street Fair vendors, Azalea Park family fun events, live music, Chamber Shrimp Feed, Elks deep pit BBQ, a Sunday morning outside community church service, Coastal Home Health & Hospice rummage sale and a softball tournament.
More information is available online.