Marthadina Russell, Stephanie Apple and Devin Beeson will vie for crown in July

Among the three newly-named members of the Old Fashioned Festival court is the queen that will preside over the annual Newberg rite, but people will have to wait until July to determine who will wear the crown.

The court is comprised of 18-year-olds Marthadina Russell and Stephanie Apple and 17-year-old Devin Beeson. All are Newberg High School GARY ALLEN - Royalty - Marthadina Russell, Stephanie Apple and Devin Beeson, all Newberg High School students, will represent Newberg as the Old Fashioned Festival court.

The three were chosen from eight applicants in March and will spend the next several months appearing at local events as well as representing Newberg at festivals and events beyond the borders of the town.

The trio has made its traditional trip to Washington Square in Tigard for a shopping spree thanks to a sponsorship from Newberg Dodge. Gowns, jewelry, sashes, tiaras and other clothes were purchased and it’s common to see the princesses dressed alike, their heads adorned with gleaming tiaras.

The three princesses’ extracurricular activities are as varied as one would expect.

“A really large part of my life is dedicated to piano,” Russell said. “I started playing when I was 5 years old and I haven’t stopped since.”

“I participate in a few extracurricular activities that include FFA, in which I show livestock, compete in job interview and livestock judging,” Apple said. “I also participate in 4H with Bacon Bits n’ Friends where I am the historian. I show livestock, photography, art and I am a junior leader for rabbits. I also race motorcycles with my dad.”

Via email, we asked the trio to comment on their experiences so far as princesses and what led them to contend for the title of Old Fashioned Festival queen.

What are your expectations for being a member of the Old Fashioned Festival court?

“I fully expect that by the end of this whole journey, Devin, Stephanie and I will be really close friends,” Russell said. “I can foresee no other outcome than my own enjoyment at the company I will keep and the memories that will be made as a Newberg princess.”

“(It is) an opportunity to go out and represent the young women of our community in our community and surrounding areas,” Beeson said, “a chance to show younger people who may look up to me that they can do it too. That they can be ‘nice,’ do well in school, not necessarily be part of the ‘in crowd’ and go out and make a difference in their community.”

“My biggest expectation for being on the court this year is for me to have fun,” Apple said.

Why did you want to be on the court?

“Having grown up in Newberg, I’m very familiar with the Old Fashioned Festival,” Russell said. “As a child, I looked up to the princesses and hoped to be one of them when I grew up. I was (and still am) in love with the idea that I could represent the town I’ve known my whole life.”

“It has been a dream since I was 2 years old and a little girl watching the parades and coming to the festival,” Beeson said. “I love Newberg and my community and I can’t think of a better way of getting more involved.”

“The reason I wanted to be on the court is because it is my senior year of high school, I had seen my friend from Astoria do a beauty pageant and she had a lot of fun with it,” Apple said. “I couldn’t see any better way to spend my summer than meeting new people and being a positive role model for younger kids.”

You’re all either juniors or seniors at NHS. What are your plans after you graduate?

“I’m currently planning on enrolling at Seattle University and pursuing my passion to become a linguist,” Russell said.

“I plan on starting at (Portland Community College) and then continuing my education at (Oregon State University) to obtain my doctor of veterinary medicine (degree) and one day open up my open vet practice specializing in equine medicine,” Beeson said.

“After I graduate this year I am going to go to Washington State University and get my (bachelor’s degree) there in animal science and then I will most likely transfer over to Iowa State University to get my Ph.D. in veterinary medicine, and then hopefully continue on into specializing in large animals and then own my own practice,” Apple said.

What was the process of being named to the court like? Was it stressful?

“I was certainly nervous at various parts of the process,” Russell said. “I remember reflecting on my interview and wondering if I smiled enough, or if I came off as insincere, or if I simply didn’t fit the princess mold whatsoever. The day the princesses were crowned, all the applicants were lined up at the front of the room and that was the first time I saw everyone who decided to apply. I remember looking to my left and my right, knowing these girls as peers of mine and thinking I didn’t have a chance. I can only imagine how surprised I must have looked when they called my name!”

“It was a little out of my comfort zone, but I was being myself. As long as I am true to myself and the board is seeing who I am, that is what is important,” Beeson said. “The board made me feel very comfortable. It was an experience that I can use for future life and I was very grateful for the opportunity.”

“The process of becoming part of the court isn’t necessarily stressful, but more nerve racking,” Apple said. “Throughout the entire process I questioned everything that I did. I told myself over and over again that I had messed up in the interview and that I probably wasn’t going to get it. I picked at everything I said and when it came to the reveal and they said my name I almost started to cry. It was such a huge relief to know that I was one of the people on the court.”

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