Judges made their decisions Sunday night in setting the royalty for the upcoming 2012 Strawberry Festival by naming a queen-elect and teen queen to reign over the May festivities and coming year.
Ten contestants were in the competition for 2012 Strawberry Festival Queen, with that number being whittled down to five after the first round.
Serving as this year's queen will be Moorefield native Sarah Thorne. The 22-year-old West Virginia University student describes herself as blessed, well-rounded and compassionate. She says she is looking forward to the coming year, and representing the West Virginia Strawberry Festival across the state. She is the daughter of Tim and Paulette Thorne.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Clise
Sarah Thorne, left, of Moorefield, is chosen as the 2012 Strawberry Queen-elect. The 2011 Strawberry Queen Erin Given, right, handed over the reigns of royalty to the new queen Sunday evening at Buckhannon-Upshur High School. To see more photos, visit CU at www.theintermountain.com.
Buckhannon's own Brooke Ashley Bragg was selected third maid.
Eleven candidates vied for the crown of Strawberry Festival Teen Queen. After the group was narrowed to five and questions were answered by the perspective candidates, judges rendered their decision through emcee and 2008 Strawberry King Matt Tolliver.
Charlotte Bellotte, 17, of Charles Town, was selected to serve as the 2012 Strawberry Teen Queen. Bellotte attends Washing High School and was inducted into the National Honor Society as a sophomore. She is the daughter of Sam and Tami Bellotte.
In the queen competition, Ally Conrad, of Huntington, was named Most Photogenic.
In the teen queen division, Susan King, of Fairmont, earned Most Photogenic honors.
Levi Gay will serve again in 2012 as Strawberry King. The Buckhannon-Upshur High School student also served as Strawberry King in 2011.
WVU Extension Agent Gary Rapking said the selection as Strawberry King is based on having been chosen the best strawberry grower in the state.
Jamie Blake and Miranda Lincicome are being honored as hostess princesses.
Susie Miller was named the 2012 Strawberry Festival Spirit Award winner for her hard work and dedication to the West Virginia Strawberry Festival over the years.
The Queen-and-King-elect will receive their crowns during the Coronation Ceremony at 7 p.m. May 16 at West Virginia Wesleyan College's Wesley Chapel.
Contact John Clise by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.