By DENISE FEDOROW
THE GOSHEN NEWS
NAPPANEE — A new Apple Festival Queen was crowned on Thursday — opening night of the festival. Emily Hoffman, Miss Persing Tire & Lube, was crowned the 2013 Apple Festival queen.
Emily is the daughter of Eric and Helen Hoffman. She is 20 years old and a freshman at Butler University.
Five other young ladies also competed alongside Hoffman for the scholarship prizes and the opportunity to represent their community. Kalin Meikle, Miss Goshen Farmers Market, Lizzie Kern, Miss Dudley Construction, Janell Smart, Miss John’s Auto Spa, Margaret Belt, Miss CVS Pharmacy, and Rebecca Miller, Miss G & W Herbs also competed.
The contestants were judged in four categories totaling 200 points — judge’s interview, biographical information, grade-point average and interests and essay.
Judging this year’s competition were Amanda Eckelbarger, Goshen, who is employed by the Elkhart County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and has had extensive pageant experience; Jamie Plack, Warsaw, graduate of Grace College, 1997 Miss Kosciusko County and is a part-time commercial model; and Tara Ton, Bremen, who has coached the Marian High School dancers and was a Light of Learning Award recipient in 2012.
The contestants were all asked to write a 300-word essay on why they like the apple festival.
Emily set the scene at the beginning of her essay: “A gentle breeze on an autumn day, the air above filled with chatter, the mouthwatering fragrance of apple dumplings — that’s what brings to mind the Apple Festival for me. The whole town is buzzing with excitement.”
Emily continued with a warning for Apple Festival visitors, “Once you see that colossal 7-foot apple pie you’ll have to have a slice. But who says you can’t have dessert first anyway?”
“I always leave with fond memories,” she read. “I’m so excited to spend the weekend at the festival and I hope you all have a great time!”
After being crowned Emily spoke about what winning the crown and a $1,000 scholarship prize meant to her.
“It means less college debt and a lot of good interview experience,” Emily said. “And a lot of new friends — friends are always great!”
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Kern was named first runner up and received a $750 scholarship prize and Janelle Smart was named second runner up and received a $500 scholarship prize.
There was also a “People’s Choice” Award that was determined by the number of $1 votes. The contestant with the most votes received the cash prize. Rebecca Miller received the People’s Choice award.
The Miss Apple Blossom Queen is chosen to be a bridge between the youth and the business community of Nappanee. She will take part in many of the festival’s activities and will go on to represent Nappanee in the Indiana State Festival’s Association competition.
The 2012 Miss Apple Blossom Queen, Mahala Miller, won the 2013 Indiana State Festival Association title and advised this year’s contestants to “Be bold and cease each opportunity.”