CHASSELL - Alisha Tilson said during Friday night's Chassell Strawberry Festival queen competition the quality she most likes about herself is that she's comfortable with who she is. She must be pretty comfortable as 2012 Strawberry Queen.
Tilson, a recent graduate of Baraga High School, was crowned queen over a field of 14 other candidates.
"I'm overwhelmed," Tilson said in her speech before a packed house under the Chassell Park pavilion. "There's a lot of great candidates, so it's really an honor."
Daily Mining Gazette/Stephen Anderson
Alisha Tilson addresses the crowd at the Chassell Park pavilion Friday night after being selected as the 2012 Strawberry Queen by a panel of three judges. For more photos, visit cu.mininggazette.com.
Tilson and the other candidates each conducted one-on-one interviews with judges earlier in the week, and they were judged on their appearance and their answers to two questions Friday night.
Tilson's first question, asked by last year's queen Rachel Crane, was, "What quality do you like most about yourself and why," and the second, which was asked to each candidate, was "If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and why?"
"I would have dinner with Joan Jett. Her goals and dreams in life were to start the first all-female rock band in history," Tilson responded. "A lot of people tried to hold her back and tell her she couldn't do it, but she was determined and she followed her dreams. She's a true leader, and I think she's a great role model."
Tilson, who was president of the National Honor Society at Baraga and plans to attend Northern Michigan University this fall, was sponsored by the Baraga County Snowdrifters and BHK Great Explorations
First runner-up Bryana Riutta, a recent graduate of Jeffers High School, said she would have dinner with Ansel Adams; second runner-up Stephanie Raymond, a recent graduate of L'Anse High School, would dine with Princess Diana; and third runner-up Dallas Jackovich with Dr. Seuss.
Houghton High School grad Mary Gerard was voted Miss Photogenic while Chassell soon-to-be senior Jamie Dompier earned Miss Congeniality honors.
In addition to an intermission auction of strawberry delicacies, the Chassell Lions Club, who puts on Strawberry Festival every year, named Doug Hamar Citizen of the Year, Kathryne Heikkila Youth Citizen of the Year and Henry and Kathy Ohtonen the Outstanding Copper Country Strawberry Growers.
For more information about Strawberry Festival, including a full schedule of events for today, visit coppercountrystrawberryfestival.com.