This is a series of interviews with the Top 10 Candidates for the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival Royal Court.  The Apple Blossom Queen and two Princesses will be crowned Feb. 11th at the Cashmere Valley Bank Royalty Selection Pageant at the Numerica Performing Arts Center. Get tickets here

Meet Top 10 Candidate Sophia Kinninger 

Sophia Kinninger from Wenatchee High School moved here from St. Louis, Missouri five years ago and says she has embraced the beauty of North Central Washington and the people of the Wenatchee Valley. Coming from a baseball mecca, Sophia was "a pretty big Cardinals fan" and when I asked if she was a Seattle Mariner fan, Sophia admitted "I'm getting there" and is slowly coming over to the Mariner's side.

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Sophia Kinninger is president of the Wenatchee High School French Club and loves the french culture, its customs, holiday traditions and of course, the delicious cuisine. "Last week we made crepes in French club and I think kids enjoy learning about customs that are not their own"  like the holiday traditions at Christmas where children paint little shoes and leave them out for St. Nicklaus in exchange for a surprise or a lump of coal.

If you attended Stage Kids production of Beauty And The Beast, Kinninger played the role of Mrs. Potts,the Tea Pot character made famous by Angela Lansbury in the Disney classic. She has also been an instructor at Stage Kids summer camp programs.  "It's so much fun to see how excited the kids are to do something that I'm so passionate about.  Sharing that experience has been so valuable to me"

Every Top 10 Candidate is asked to describe their proudest moment and I asked Sophia to give some more background on the essay contest she won based on an interview with her grandmother and her experience in World War II.  Sophia recounted the story of how her grandmother was separated from her parents as a young girl in Germany and was reunited with her father who had been taken prisoner of war.  The father was unrecognizable to Sophia at first, presumably because of his prison conditions.  The whole family gathered at a local church where the grandmother plucked a plum from a tree that she kept as a remembrance of the reunion.  Sophia was able to record the essay she wrote about her grandmother's interview and record it for an NPR broadcast. "I'm really glad I got to know her on a more personal level in that way" Kinninger said of the interview experience.

Read Sophia's full biography here


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