Williams Lake has a new Stampede Queen and two Princesses.
During an outdoor coronation dinner and celebration held near the Stampede Grounds Saturday, June 26, Karena Sokolan, 19, Miss Peterson Contracting Ltd. was crowned 2021 Williams Lake Stampede Queen, and both Bayley Cail, 17, Miss MH King Excavating and Kennady Dyck, 17, Miss Williams Lake Lions were crowned Princesses.
Williams Lake Stampede vice-president Tim Rolph crowned the royalty and said it was so great to be able to gather again and hopefully by this time next year everyone would be at the Stampede, which has been cancelled two years in a row due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In order to be made a princess, the contestants have to achieve enough points and be within 10 per cent of the queen, which Bayley and Kennady did.
“I plan to spend the year in Williams Lake representing our Stampede and the rodeo community,” Karena said. “I am excited. I think it might be a little more difficult with all that’s going on to get to places, but I think we are all excited.”
Karena is currently working for School District 27 this summer and in September plans to find a full-time job and spend more time riding her horses.
Prior to the crowning of the royalty, several awards were announced.
Karina won Most Horsemanship Written, Best Public Speaker, Fashion Show Poise and Personality, Williams Lake and area and Williams Lake Stampede history, Williams Lake Rodeo Knowledge and History.
Bailey won Personal Interview. Kennady won Horsemanship Riding and Most Improved Public Speaker. Each contestant received a $250 scholarship from their sponsor and a Stampede Poster presented by Williams Lake Stampede Association director Susan Rolph.
Chantelle Wessels is the Williams Lake Stampede Association director in charge of the royalty program. She has been very busy this year guiding this year’s participants through the program.
Patti Gerhardi, past Stampede association royalty director, said the generosity of the community responding to a positive program like the Stampede Royalty contest has been overwhelming.
“People are happy to do something together, especially in a leadership role like we are presenting for these ladies.”
Even on Saturday morning as they were setting up the tent area and tables for the coronation people showed up with flowers and items to help decorate. Everything was done by noon, which gave the organizers time to go home and relax.
Invites are coming in already for the royalty, Gerhardi confirmed.
They will be going to the Quesnel Rodeo July 17, 18 and 19.
“Chief Willie Sellars invited us to a powwow at Sugar Cane in September and we will have the Falkland Rodeo. BCRA has four rodeos that we plan to attend.”