Flower Festival queen candidates parade through Lompoc in first public appearance together

Flower Festival queen candidates parade through Lompoc in first public appearance together

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The eight candidates vying for this year's Lompoc Flower Festival Queen's crown made their first public appearance together Saturday in a small but festive parade.

The candidates rode four apiece on two separate trailers that were pulled by trucks along H Street and Ocean Avenue.

Wearing face masks that matched their dresses, they waved to onlookers and celebrated a contest that is unlike any other in the event's history.

With this summer's Flower Festival having already been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the queen competition is the only aspect of the decades-old tradition that is pushing forward this year.

The queen candidates include Dallas Bedrosian, Anastasia deMorris, Kenley Grossini, Rodaina Maida, Paloma Pacheco, Kilee Payne, Jasmin Salas and Tayla Valencia.

Contest organizers plan to hold another small parade and crowning ceremony June 20 at Ryon Park.

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The 2020 Lompoc Flower Festival Queen Contest is pushing on, despite the Lompoc Valley Festival Association’s decision last month to call off this summer’s Flower Festival. The eight young ladies vying for the queen’s crown have continued to fundraise during the health crisis, and contest organizers have tentatively scheduled a couple of public events to recognize the candidates.

The Lompoc Valley Festival Association announced Wednesday that it had called off what would have been the 68th annual Lompoc Flower Festival, which had been scheduled for June 24 through 28. The announcement came just six weeks after the organization also canceled this year’s SpringFest celebration, which was slated for mid-April.

The Lompoc City Council voted unanimously to direct staff to get input from the Lompoc and Santa Barbara County public safety agencies regarding holding a fireworks show at three possible sites, and to set a June 1 deadline to raise the needed funds for the show. If the money — estimated around $10,000 — isn’t raised by that date, the show would automatically be rolled over to 2021.

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