Newberg High School graduate Stephanie Apple crowned Thursday evening

As the stage was cleared for the Old Fashioned Festival queen’s coronation Thursday evening, a crowd gathered. Princesses Stephanie Apple, Devin Beeson and Marthadina Russell took their place off-stage, families assembled. Groups of young girls with royal aspirations could be seen giggling and watching intently. Emcee Tim Weaver, retired sergeant in the Newberg-Dundee Police Department, opened the ceremony with the “Star Spangled Banner” before introducing the 2013 and 2014 courts.

“These three women are some of the finest representation of the Newberg, St. Paul, Dundee community that we could have ever selected,” Weaver said before inviting 2013 Queen Bethany Giesch to reflect on her GARY ALLEN - Reigning Queen – A tearful Stephanie Apple was pronounced queen at the Newberg Old Fashioned Festival Thursday evening. Apple said she looks forward most to talking with the young aspiring princesses during the next year.

Aside from being an honor, Giesch recalled the many opportunities she had to give back to the community in her role.

“We were busy all the time, we had so many opportunities to help in the community, to riding on a fire truck to playing with kids to getting sick off eating so many noodles,” she said. “It was great.”

Before announcing who would replace Giesch as queen, each princess heard a letter from their parents reflecting on their childhood and the women they’ve become. Comments included musings on how the girls go to this point on the stage and in life. Tears wiped away, it was time for the final announcement.

As Weaver reached for the envelope containing the queen’s identity, the crowd fell silent. Commenting he had no idea which of the three girls it would be, he pulled the slip of paper from the envelope and announced Stephanie Apple as the festival’s new queen.

“Honestly I was thinking I hoped it was either Devin or Marthadina because I knew I was going to start freaking out or crying and bawling if he said my name,” Apple said, fighting back tears of joy. “I’m super happy he said my name, but I would have been super happy for them too.”

Although she’s only lived in Newberg for the past three years, being a princess has been a childhood aspiration for Apple.

“When I was younger I used to go to rodeos and see the rodeo princesses and I was one of those girls who was like, `I’m going to do that when I am older and I’m going to be a princess,’” she said.

The ambition is something her parents saw for her as well.

“You’ve always been our princess and now we get to share how special you are with all of Newberg too,” they said in the letter read earlier in the ceremony. “You are smart, loyal and a friend to all. You have the ability to do and be anything you put your mind to and we know you will succeed.”

Apple said she is most looking forward to working with princess-hopefuls.

“I look forward to seeing the other little girls and the young teenagers or the older teenagers who are thinking about being queen or princess or even running and telling them that they can chase their dreams and accomplish anything they put their mind to,” she said.

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