10-01-2020 2020 Blossomtime contests held COVID style; WHS Homecoming week!

2020 MISS BLOSSOMTIME COURT… (from the left): First runner-up to Miss Blossomtime, Katherine Schooley from South Haven; Miss Blossomtime Faith Kittleson from the community of Berrien Springs; and second runner-up to Miss Blossomtime, Jada Willis from Benton Harbor.


2020 MR. BLOSSOMTIME COURT… (from the left): First runner-up to Mr. Blossomtime, Skyler Sawle from Berrien Springs; Mr. Blossomtime Jeremiah Sterling Jr. of the community of Benton Harbor; and second runner-up to Mr. Blossomtime, Jackson Williams from South Haven.


2020 Blossomtime contests held COVID style

By Annette Christie When the Tri-City Record issue came out on March 12, 2020, it highlighted the same thing it does every year at that time, the local royalty that would be vying for the Mr. and Miss Blossomtime crowns that upcoming weekend. As it was with many, many, other things, the two-day Blossomtime event had to be canceled due to COVID-19. In addition, many other Blossomtime cancellations followed, the 5K Run for the Buds, the Grand Floral Parade, the Blessing of the Blossoms, the trips to the Shriners Hospital, the Capital, and the State Police drive track, and even Tour Week. Blossomtime Officials with their creative and positive mindsets made the best of a bad situation and followed suit with many other events and went technical, using social media. During March, for March Reading Month, when many community kings and queens would have attended elementary schools to read stories to their community’s students, they read their favorites virtually and they were posted on the Blossomtime Facebook page. Come April, area queens posted videos on the Blossomtime Facebook page as part of the Queen Spotlight series. Miss Hartford Destiny Chacon talked about her activities in school and talked about her hobby of canvas painting. Miss Watervliet Sophia Tavolacci mentioned that her family has been spending a lot of time visiting the various state parks in the area and commented about enjoying all the extra time with family. Miss Coloma Lilly Trapp spoke about her enjoyment in singing and said that post-quarantine, she was looking forward to her family’s belated spring break trip to the Bahamas. May would have brought the annual tour that includes visits to farms and different communities to show off Southwest Michigan. The May of 2020 however, allowed the queens to post videos that highlighted their community with a virtual tour. Hartford’s Chacon gave quite an in-depth history of the current library named after Jennie Merriman and the future library that will be housed at the Art & Bonna Vanderlyn Community Center. Tavolacci highlighted the fruit industry, Lane Automotive, Hays Park, and Watervliet High School. Trapp spoke about one of her favorite places to visit and work, Jollay Orchards. On August 19, community queens got together at Lake Township Park for the executive order followed charm bracelet exchange. All attendees maintained social distancing as the queens received their charm bracelets that contain photo charms of every queen. Blossomtime President Anna Abdelnour said it was at this event that the idea was raised about making some kind of pageant happen to give the kings and queens the event they had longed for since March. On Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, at an outdoor venue located at the Harbor Shores Golf Course, a Mr. and Miss Blossomtime Pageant was held. Following a Governor Whitmer Executive Order, no more than 100 people were allowed at the event. A total of 15 young men took the makeshift stage at 1:00 p.m. for an opening dance, a formal presentation and crowning. Interviews with the judges were held in advance. Community queens took the same makeshift stage at 3:30 for the Miss Blossomtime Contest. The communities of Benton Harbor, Berrien Springs, and South Haven filled the 2020 Blossomtime court. Mr. Blossomtime is Jeremiah Sterling Jr. of Benton Harbor; his first runner-up is Skyler Sawle of Berrien Springs; and his second runner-up is Jackson Williams of South Haven. Miss Blossomtime is Faith Kittleson of Berrien Springs; First Runner-up is Katherine Schooley of South Haven; and Second Runner-up is Jada Willis of Benton Harbor. Representing the community of Watervliet was Mr. Watervliet Dylan Tucker and Miss Watervliet Sophia Tavolacci. Representing the community of Coloma was Miss Coloma Lilly Trapp and first runner-up to Mr. Coloma Ethan Price. Mr. Coloma, Ian Ishmael, is currently in the U.S. Navy and thus was unable to participate. Representing the community of Hartford was Miss Hartford Destiny Chacon and first runner-up to Mr. Hartford Elijah Ledesma.

Senior Class Queen Candidates!