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Woodlake kicks off western week with full weekend of events

Woodlake kicks off western week with full weekend of events

Woodlake will kick off Western Week this weekend with a full slate of events on Saturday.

The day begins Friday night with the WHS Foundation Spring Fundraiser at the Woodlake Memorial Building, located at 355 N. Acacia St. For more information contact Barbara Hallmeyer at 564-2334.

Saturday, May 4 begins early with the Woodlake Flying Tigers annual Young Eagles Program. Local pilots will be offering free flights for young people interested in aviation. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with flights continuing until 2 p.m. at the Woodlake Airport on Valencia Boulevard just north of the St. John’s River. For more information, call the Flying Tigers, EAA Chapter 1292, at 798-0717.

Also at 8 a.m. cooks will begin preparing chili for a panel of judges at the Woodlake Chili Cook-Off at City Park, located at the corner of Antelope and Magnolia streets. Sponsored by the Woodlake Volunteer Fireman, entry fee is $30. Chili will be judged at 11 a.m. with first, second and third will be awarded trophies. Each team must make at least two gallons of chili. Contestants will get a 12-by-12 space on a first come, first serve basis. To register, call 564-2131 by 5 p.m. today, May 1. Applications are available at Woodlake City Hall, 350 N. Valencia Blvd. in Woodlake.

After some spicy chili, the volunteer firefighters will put out the fire at the Woodlake Fireman’s Muster. The muster is open to teams of five to compete in firefighter drill contests. Applications for teams can be picked up at City Hall and returned by 4 p.m. on Friday, May 3.

Saturday the Woodlake Lions Club will also announce the Woodlake Rodeo Queen. One of five young cowgirls will reign over the 60th Annual Woodlake Rodeo. This year’s rodeo queen contestants are:

• Cassie Flores, VTEC High School, 16 years, daughter of Sheri Loop & Edward Flores of Exeter

• Kaycee Hilvers, Azusa Pacific University, 19 years, daughter of Nick & Tricia Hilvers of Tipton

• Amanda Lawrence, Fresno State, 21 years, daughter of Phil & Linda Lawrence of Woodlake

• Stevie Leigh Sweeney, Woodlake High School, 16 years, daughter of Steve & Yvonne Sweeney of Woodlake

• Audra Walker, Golden West High School, 18 years, daughter of Richard & Julie Walker of Visalia

The rodeo queen will appear at the Woodlake Lions Rodeo on Mother’s Day Weekend, May 11-12, 2013 and represents the rodeo at events and parades throughout the year. The princess court of horsewomen accompany the Rodeo Queen in the Woodlake Western Days Parade and Rodeo. The Queen is honored with a sparkling tiara, a beautiful belt buckle and a finely tooled saddle donated by Valley Business Bank.

Queen contestants are judged on three criteria: horsemanship, poise and personality and ticket drawing sales. To be eligible, applicants must be between 16-24 years and unmarried. Each year young women from throughout the Central Valley are encouraged to apply.

The Queen contest is structured to be educational and fun for participants. Starting in early February, the contestants attended several workshops and meetings to strengthen their horsemanship abilities, gain greater poise and learn all aspects of the contest process.

Dedicated Woodlake Lady Lion Pam Whiteside has overseen the Queen Contest for many years. She makes it a rewarding experience for all the contestants. “We want the girls to have fun while improving their competitive skills and honing their public speaking abilities,” said Whiteside, “We give them an opportunity to ask and learn in a supportive environment so they will be fully confident in the competition.”

If a candidate is not crowned as Rodeo Queen, she has the option to compete in the next year’s competition. Several past Rodeo Queens have competed in two years of competition before being crowned. Further information about the queen contest is available at WoodlakeLionsRodeo.com or at the Woodlake Lions office, 559-564-8555. Saturday’s events will conclude with a Street Dance from 7-10 p.m.

The fiesta continues on Sunday with a Cinco de Mayo celebration at Twilight Park, located at 1099 W. Ropes Ave. in Woodlake. Beginning at noon, there will be folkloric dancers, food booths, music, vendors, crafts, and more. From 1-5 p.m. Twilight will present “Feria de Cinco de Mayo,” a cultural celebration, featuring five bands such as Los Mismos and Banda Pachuco, folkloric dancers, vendors and more for the whole family. Admission is free before 5 p.m. after 5 p.m. cost is $10. Located at Twilight Park. For more information call 1(800)gotwilight.

At 7 p.m., the Woodlake Lions Club will again hold a Street Dance at City Park.

For a full schedule and more coverage of Woodlake Western Week, see pages B9-10.

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