The Princess Promenade on Feb. 2 marked the start of activities for the 80th annual Daffodil Festival. Girls from 24 high schools around Pierce County gathered at the Sharon McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College for the event. The girls, all high school seniors, were selected through a process at each of their schools.
Each princess was led into the ballroom by a representative of the Daffodil Festival and a teacher of their choosing from their respective high schools.
Every princess was presented with a sash, tiara and Golden Daffodil necklace. The tapping ceremony was done, with each girl tapped on the shoulders with a ceremonial sword and proclaimed an official Daffodil Princess. The selection of the Daffodil Queen will come at a ceremony on March 8 at Tacoma’s Life Center.
The Princess Promenade marks the start of 10 months of the princesses serving county residents in many capacities, including participating in parades around the Northwest. They will appear at more than 220 public events in Pierce County during their reign. The theme for this year’s activities is “The Magic of Music.”
Tara Harris is the princess from Lincoln High School. She is the daughter of Trace and Andrea White. Harris has a grade point average of 3.22, takes advanced placement classes and is on the tennis team. She is enrolled in Lincoln Center, a program that has students spend extra time on academics at school evenings and Saturdays. She is involved in Pro Start, a culinary training program. She has completed more than 250 hours of volunteer work, is a lifeguard at a YMCA and a group leader for Kids Night Out.
Competing for the title of Daffodil Queen is getting Harris out meeting new people. “I am really stepping out of my comfort zone,” she said. “I am glad I am doing this.”
Harris wants to attend Washington State University to study criminal justice. Her career goal is to be an air marshal.
Shelondra Harns is this year’s representative of Foss High School. She is the daughter of Gary Jackson and Shelon Harris. She holds a 3.69 GPA. She is in the International Baccalaureate Program, National Honor Society, Christian Students United and the Trio College Bound program. She plays volleyball, basketball and fast pitch for the Falcons. She also volunteers her time to work with children with special needs.
Harns is involved with ACT 6, a program of Northwest Leadership Foundation for youth who want to attend college. It will pay her tuition at Pacific Lutheran University, where she wants to take classes to prepare for a career in public relations or communications.
She is excited about the activities that will bring herself, the other girls and the community closer together. “I am looking forward to meeting people. This is so exciting.”
Tacoma resident Mikayla Flores is the princess from Chief Leschi High School. She is the daughter of Michael Flores and Misty Stafford. She has a 3.35 GPA. She is a cheerleader and is a representative on the school’s student government. A member of Puyallup Tribe, she enjoys participating in powwows and other activities that celebrate her tribal culture. Her interests include fastpitch, lacrosse and writing.
Flores hopes to attend the University of Washington to study communications. She is interested in a career in journalism at a television station.
Other members of her family have been active participants in Daffodil Festival. Flores has a brother, sister and large extended family. She had a number of relatives at the Princess Promenade.
Angelica Maria is the princess from Mount Tahoma High School. She is the daughter of Ulises Martinez and Veronica Estrada. She has a 3.28 GPA. She is involved in Proyecto Mole, National Honor Society and YPB. She enjoys attending Nurse Camp, and is a mentor to students at First Creek Middle School. Her hobbies are hiking and dancing, and she loves music. She will graduate from Tacoma Community College in June with her associate’s degree. She will transfer to Pacific Lutheran University, where she plans to major in nursing and sociology.
Zoe Mix is the princess from Wilson High School. She is the daughter of Brad and Susan Mix. She has a 3.5 GPA. She is a Youth Leading Change recruitment officer and received a Certificate of Completion of the University of British Columbia Summer Vocal Workshop. Her interests are staging, cross-country, drawing and writing poetry. She plans to attend UBC and obtain a doctorate degree in opera performance and opera history. She would like to perform in operas and become a professor teaching vocal performance.
Carly Knox is the princess from Stadium High School. She is the daughter of Matt Knox and Julie Blackson and has a GPA of 3.91. She is the president of her Choir Club and the treasurer of National Honor Society. She loves singing and is a member of ARS Nova Show Choir. She likes working with children and is an elementary school tutor. Knox plans to attend the University of Washington and major in business and marketing to become a buyer for Nordstrom.
Other princesses and their schools are: Amy Bernstein of Graham-Kapowsin; Bri Pedicone of Puyallup; Kayla Williams of Orting; Grace Collins of Fife; Helena Laubach of Lakes; Suga Iopu of Clover Park; Alexus Reyes of Washington; Anna Kessner of Spanaway Lake; Taylor Friend of Bonney Lake; Annie Litzenberger of Eatonville; Kayla Prewitt of Curtis; McKenna Erhardt of Rogers; Jessie Gamble of White River; Cierra McMahon of Emerald Ridge; Bobbi McGinnis of Franklin Pierce; Noelle Kaku of Bethel; Marissa Gregg of Sumner and Kabrina Kidd of Cascade Christian.