San Joaquin County, CA — “Being bilingual gives me the ability to communicate in the workforce and it allows me the opportunity to understand my roots and background,” explained Gabriela Fernandez who was crowned Queen of the Cinco de Mayo Parade Pageant 2012.
Ines Ruiz-Huston, President of the Coalition of Mexican American Organizations (known for its Spanish acronym —COMA), served as master of ceremony for the event, at which 12 contestants — 8 princesses for queen and 4 princes for king—vied for the title. “The winners will receive a $500 dollar scholarship and the ‘King and Queen’ will go to Univision representing us. And they will be at the Cinco de Mayo Parade as King and Queen,” explained Ruiz-Huston.
The King and Queen elected were Edison High School senior Rolando Godinez and Franklin High School senior Gabriella Fernandez, respectively.
The deciding moment took place at la Comision Honorifica Mexicana (Honorific Mexican Comission) during the afternoon hours of Saturday April 21st. 11 judges evaluated the participants upon ticket sales, community involvement, achievements, support at the event, their ability to communicate in English and Spanish, as well as their ability to present before an audience.
The $500 dollar scholarships were sponsored by Comerciantes Unidos (United Merchants), a group that supports the Parade annually. “Last year, Comerciantes Unidos granted $12,000 dollars in scholarships,” noted Mario Eguiluz, President of Comerciantes Unidos, as he explained that supporting the parade’s fundraiser with the two scholarships was a natural decision for the merchant group.
The pageant is a fundraiser for the Coalition to afford the rising costs of the parade. The City of Stockton’s fee for street closures exceeds $5,000 plus. “We pay [for] insurances, garbage, rest room facilities, print materials and other fees,” noted Ruiz-Huston.
The Cinco de Mayo Parade is scheduled to be held May 6, 2012 in Downtown Stockton. The parade starts at 11:00 a.m. at Weber Institute and the winners of the various parade categories will be announced at the Sus Finansas (Your Finances) event at the Civic Auditorium.
APPLICATION for parade entry
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