Outgoing Williams Lake Stampede Queen Karena Sokolan was hailed as a “wonderful advocate” by Mayor Surinderpal Rathor on Tuesday, July 18.
During the regular meeting Mayor Surinderpal Rathor, wearing his white cowboy hat, presented Sokolan with a framed certificate of appreciation from the city and a gift.
“Thank you for being such a wonderful ambassador for our community,” he told her.
Sokolan was crowned Stampede Queen in 2021 and stayed on for two years. She took her final ride as queen during the Williams Lake Stampede on the Saturday, July 1 rodeo.
“I’m happy to be done, but I am very sad to be done as well,” she told council. “I love the Williams Lake Stampede. I love the city of Williams Lake.”
She said she hoped council knew how much it meant to be honoured by the city and how she was grateful to hold the title of Stampede Queen.
“I’m very humbled by all the kind words,” she said.
Sokolan told the Tribune she is continuing to enjoy working at the Williams Lake Visitor Centre where she is the events coordinator and a tourism counsellor.
“We get to meet people from all over the world,” she said.
In the future she hopes to do some travelling and then return to school, possibly to study forestry and natural resources.
Born and raised in the Cariboo, she grew up at Chimney Lake with her dad, Barry Sokolan, mom Karen Sokolan and her three brothers Derek, Kevin and Parker.