From staff reports
Twelve area youths – seven girls and five boys – are vying for the 2018 Cranberry Festival king and queen titles.
The candidates participating in the contest, all juniors at local high schools, have already been interviewed by the three festival judges – Merralee Obenrader, Ashley McCauley and Stewart Armstrong.
Each candidate also completed an essay on “Why I Would Like to be Festival Queen/King.” They also were graded on their community-related interests, school and extracurricular activities, and employment experience.
The talent show portion of the event will start at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Seneca fire hall and will allow each of the contestants to perform a talent of their choice in front of the three judges and the public.
Once the talent scores have been tallied and added to their previous scores, the queen and king will be crowned, and each will be given a basket of gifts from local merchants.
The talent contest and crowning ceremony will be preceded from 5 to 7 p.m. by a fund-raiser spaghetti dinner at the Seneca fire hall hosted by the Oil City Rotary Club. All proceeds from the dinner will benefit Rotary community projects.
The dinner is open to the public and the cost is $9 per person ($4 for 4 to 10 years old and free to 3 years and under) and includes free admission to the talent show and crowning.
Those not attending the dinner will be charged a $1 admission to the show and crowning.
The actual Cranberry Festival will take place Saturday at Morrison Park in Seneca.
Here are the queen and king candidates:
— Chelsea McKissick of Venus, daughter of Jone and Bill McKissick, Cranberry High School
— Grant Turner of Oil City, son of Dustin and Diane Turner, Oil City High School
— Saige Slater of Seneca, daughter of Misty and Stacy Slater, Cranberry High School
— Keirstin Gregory of Reno, daughter of Jennifer and Brock Gregory, Rocky Grove High School
— Sarah Teeter of Oil City, daughter of Margaret and Timothy Teeter, Oil City High School
— Michael Gunn of Cranberry, son of Tracy Shuffstall and David Gunn, Cranberry High School
— Karalynn Rice of Utica, daughter of Michelle and William Rice of Franklin, Franklin High School
— Summer Stevenson of Oil City, daughter of Cynthia and William Stevenson, Oil City High School
— Nicholas (Nick) Janidlo of Franklin, son of Staci and James Janidlo, Franklin High School
— Jeffrey (Marc) Knox of Franklin, son of Marc and Trini Knox, Franklin High School
— Austin Switzer of Seneca, son of Wendy and Bruce Switzer, Cranberry High School
— Jacquelyn Wheeler of Franklin, daughter of Richard and Cynthia Wheeler, Franklin High School
More information on the festival and pre-festival events can be found at www.venangochamber.org.