Tonawanda News — Winners of this year’s Canal Fest Pageant have been named, allowing titleholders to strut their stuff during Tuesday’s marquee festival parade.
Canal Fest Queen 2012 is Josey Topolski, 19, of North Tonawanda, in a contest featuring two runners-up in Kristin Mulligan and Alison Chilton. Miss Congeniality 2012 is Janelle Follendorf.
The pageant held Saturday featured 11 contestants between the ages of 16 and 21 vying for the top title.
The second-most senior group in the pageant, Teen Princess, yielded to to Jackie Bors, 14, of North Tonawanda in the 13 to 15 age range. Two runners-up were named in Elizabeth Bolsover and Reanna Bradt.
With good competition among entrants for Canal Fest Queen and 13 vying for a title in this year’s Teen Princess contest alone, emcee Maryalice Demler said turnout for the event’s milestone 30th year was impressive.
So too was the turnout for the pageant at North Tonawanda’s historic Riviera Theatre, which hosted an ample crowd gathered to watch some of the Twin Cities’ best and brightest young women confidently and gracefully present themselves.
“It was the largest audience we’ve had in years,” Demler, a former 1984 Canal Fest Queen who began running the event in 1999, said.
Four other age groups also participated, with titles distributed to this year’s Junior Princess, Little Princess, Tiny Princess and, in the lone male category for youngsters, Little Mister.
Kirsten Ferree, 10, of North Tonawanda was crowned Junior Princess 2012, just ahead of runners-up Emilee Marschiello and Emileigh Chris Mazurkiewicz.
Arianna Warriner, 9, of North Tonawanda, was named Little Princess. Runners-up were, in order, Lexi Brennan and Kayleigh Grace Kuebler.
Tiny Princess honors were bestowed on Jadyn Skye Corkery, 4, of Tonawanda, in a contest also featuring runners-up Olivia Noelle Perretta and Gabriella Herman.
Jack Ryan Yackamovich, 7, of North Tonawanda was named Little Mister for 2012. Runners-up were Alexander Brown and Kaden Reusch.
The pageant emphasized scholarship and community service — core values stemming from the event’s beginnings under the local chapter of the Business and Professional Women’s Club, of which Demler was a member.
To mark the anniversary this year, a PowerPoint presentation recapped the past 29 pageant queens, including a visit by Phyllis Phillips, vice chairwoman of the organization New York State Women, an offshoot of the original Business and Professional Women’s Club.