There won’t be an Azalea Pageant this year, but there will be a queen and a court reigning over the 79th Azalea Festival Memorial Day weekend.
The pageant board announced Monday that it has selected Brookings-Harbor High School seniors Barrieanne Fallert, Brittney Nelson, Abby Farmer, Malia Leddy and Shawntisha Bailey as this year’s Azalea Festival princesses.
The girls will be making appearances at events between now and the festival. The queen and her court will take part in the Azalea Festival parade and other events. The queen will also choose awards at the art, quilt and flower shows.
Fallert has lived in Brookings her entire life. She lives with her parents, Allison and Barry Fallert, two sisters and two dogs.
She enjoys playing volleyball and softball and has coached children in sports.
Fallert also enjoys the outdoors.
“Growing up in such an area has allowed me to be innately drawn to all the nature and beauty Brookings bears,” Fallert wrote. “From visiting the beach and river to kayaking and playing with my dogs, spending time outdoors is something I’m fond of.”
Fallert said she has aspired to be a princess since an early age because they embody poise, charm and ambition.
“I want to have the ability to be a positive influence and role model to little girls of this community,” she wrote.
After graduation, Fallert plans to attend the University of Oregon to become an elementary school teacher.
Nelson, the daughter of Athena and Darren Nelson, lived in Brookings until the second grade and then moved to Coos Bay.
She began high school at Marshfield before returning to Brookings. It was there she was told, “Become as involved as you can during high school, because it makes it 100 times more enjoyable.” She has taken that advice.
At Marshfield she was involved in swimming, yearbook and leadership. At Brookings-Harbor, she joined the Rotary Interact Club, National Honor Society and sports teams, playing softball and volleyball.
She hopes to gain new skills by being involved on the Azalea court.
“As a member of the Azalea court, I would hope to learn to speak publicly with confidence,” Nelson wrote. “I would also like to learn how to carry myself with eloquence and grace while in social settings and public appearances.”
Nelson plans to go on to college and study health sciences, then attend medical school to become a staff sports-medicine physician with a college or professional athletic program.
Farmer is the daughter of Alice and Daryn Farmer. Both her mother and older sister are former Azalea princesses.
Farmer said she would like to be a princess because it gives her a chance to be a role model for young people.
“I strive to be a role model in my school by participating in various activities and leadership roles,” Farmer wrote.
She is senior class president, coordinator of the Doernbecher Committee, a member of the National Honor Society and yearbook, and co-captain of the basketball team.
She wrote that she places an emphasis on academics, but believes in the importance of socializing and outdoor activities.
After graduation, Farmer plans to attend Lewis and Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, and major in business and communications to become an entrepreneur. She is attending on a full-ride basketball scholarship.
Leddy, the daughter of Crista and Seth Stewart, enjoys helping people and being involved in school activities, including leadership.
Her involvement in leadership has given her the opportunity to help plan dances and assemblies, and volunteering at blood drives and fundraisers.
“This has opened my eyes to all the ways I can be of help to my community and school,” Leddy wrote. “I am very thankful for what leadership has given to me.”
She also enjoys playing sports, including volleyball and basketball.
Leddy said she has an interest in the medical field and would like to become surgeon. She plans to begin her studies at Portland State University.
She hopes that by being on the Azalea court she will gain more self-confidence as she has seen happen to princesses in the past.
Bailey, the daughter of Mark Bailey, is known in the community for her performing abilities. She has won several talent contests including the Curry County Fair and Oregon State Fair.
After graduation, Bailey plans to attend the University of Colorado in Denver and major in music with an emphasis in performance. She plans to minor in social sciences and psychology. Her goal is to become a music producer and have her own record label.
Bailey also enjoys art and has won dozens of awards.
Bailey has aspired to be a princess since an early age.
“I have been going to the Azalea pageant since before I could remember and I couldn’t wait until it was finally my year.” Bailey wrote. “I’ve worked very hard to get to this point in my life and only plan on going further.”