The Penticton Peach Festival is shining a spotlight on the Miss Penticton Royalty as we lead into what would have been the 73rd annual Penticton Peach Festival week (Aug. 5-9, 2020).Due to provincial regulations, and to ensure the safety of our volunteers, performers, vendors, festival attendees and our community, the Peach Festival board announced in April the cancellation the 2020 festival.Unfortunately, with so many events cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Miss Penticton Royalty (Princess Anne Hughes, Miss Penticton Queen Amrit Dhaliwal and Princess Faith Johnson) have not been able to travel and enjoy the full experience of being an ambassador for Penticton.
The Peach Festival board is showing their support for the Miss Penticton Royalty through this series of question and answers - starting with Queen Amrit Dhaliwal (middle in photo).
What inspired you to join the Miss Penticton program?
AD: A few years prior to me joining the program, my cousin was a candidate and I went to a few of her events. I noticed how well-spoken all the candidates were and, as someone who had always struggles with public speaking, I was inspired. From that day on I knew that one day I also wanted to take part in the program.
What are some of your favourite moments from the program?
AD: There were so many amazing memories that I made in those eight months but my best one remains the weekly Penticton Farmers' Market. Every Saturday, my fellow candidates and I, would proudly wear our sponsor banners and walk around enjoying the live entertainment and supporting the local businesses. The farmers' market is what brought the six of us so close and our friendships became so strong.
What advice would you give future Miss Penticton candidates?
AD: If I had to tell them one thing it would be to cherish the moments. Eight months go by so fast, so enjoy the small things, enjoy the inside jokes, go on ice cream dates with the girls, and have sleepovers because candidacy was some of the most fun I have ever had in my life and if I could do it all over again, I would.
We know it has been a difficult year for the Royalty because of the COVID-19 pandemic, what have you been up to over the past few months?
AD: I have been spending lots of time with my family! We’ve been baking and even going on family walks. Another thing that has kept me so positive throughout everything is physical activity. I have been doing home workouts and they have helped put me in such a positive head space.
If you had to describe the other two Miss Penticton royalty in five words, what would they be?
AD: Confident, genuine, resilient, independent and caring.
Have you been staying in contact with one another over the past month or so? And, have you been in touch with the Royalty from other cities?
AD: Yes! We have had a few meetings over video call, although it isn’t the same as in person it is still a good way to catch up. We also have lots of online group chats with the royalty from other cities that helps all of us stay in contact.
What are your plans for next year?
AD: I will be beginning my first year at UBCO. I’ve been accepted into the Bachelor of Science program and am so excited to begin this new chapter in my life!
What are your long-term goals?
AD: A lot of my goals are based around my education. The one that I plan to focus on the most is to keep a high GPA throughout my four years at UBCO.
If you could have lunch with one person who would it be, and why?
AD: I would want to have lunch with Barack Obama. I feel as though I could obtain significant insight as to the barriers he had to overcome to become the President of the United States. Barriers relating to him being a minority (as I am as well), attending graduate school to become a professional (as I wish to as well) and his overall charisma. Additionally, I feel he has a great sense of humour and connects with millennials well.
What is your favourite midway ride?
I enjoy riding the Leviathan at Cedar Fair in Ontario. The ride falls at almost 90 degrees (I believe it is an 87 degree angle) and is exhilarating. I also fear heights, so attending the ride gives me an opportunity to temporarily challenge myself and overcome this fear.
What are some of your favourite Peach Festival moments over the years?
I have been to many of the Peach Festival events, but my favourite remains the parade! My cousins always come into town that week and ever since I was a kid it has been a tradition to go and watch the parade with my family.