By Judy Reed
You know Red Flannel Days are finally here when a new Red Flannel Queen starts her reign. That happened last Saturday evening, September 26, when Cedar Springs High School junior Jenna Johnson, daughter of Kim and Diane Johnson, was chosen as 2009 Red Flannel Queen.
Joining Jenna on the court are Kali Oberdorfer, daughter of Robert and Darcy Oberdorfer, and Audrianna Boomgaard, daughter of John and Cherri Kerr. Brittany Lenardson, daughter of Christine Ellis and Rick Lenardson, was named Miss Congeniality, and earned a $250 scholarship from the Board of Directors.
The pageant was held at the historic Kent Theatre, the same venue as the first pageant, 70 years ago.
According to Red Flannel Festival president Michele Andres, Jean Thrall Erickson, the 1941 Red Flannel Queen, was pageant hostess. “Jean shared her experiences of her crowning in 1941, at the historic Kent Theatre. She is the oldest living Red Flannel Queen and she crowned the 2009 Queen, Jenna Johnson,” noted Andres.
The audience enjoyed some spectacular entertainment, supplied by Jake Mellema, our own local American Idol, and 2008 Queen Breann Ovakaitys, who performed a violin duet with her mother, Donna.
The Queen and her court will have a busy year ahead of them, starting with appearances this week at area elementary schools, and in Red Flannel Festival activities next weekend.
Donations are still being accepted for scholarship money for the Queen and court. The Queen will receive half, and the two court members will split the other half. Last year, $6,000 was raised. This year’s goal is $10,000. If you’d like to donate, please send it to RFF Queen Scholarship fund, PO Box 43, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.