‘My heart is so full’

Ap­ple Blos­som royal party visit Hants County as fes­ti­val wraps up

Valley Journal Advertiser - - COMMUNITY - BY COLIN CHISHOLM HANTSPORT WWW.HANTSJOURNAL.CA Colin.Chisholm@hantsjournal.ca

An­napolisa 85th, her ladies in wait­ing and the lead­er­ship can­di­dates rep­re­sent­ing com­mu­ni­ties across the An­napo­lis Val­ley walked up the tree-shaded path to­wards the his­toric Churchill House in Hantsport on a sunny spring af­ter­noon.

They were all smiles as town crier Lloyd Smith rang his bell and com­mu­nity mem­bers snapped pic­tures from their per­sonal cam­eras and phones.

Smith read aloud a procla­ma­tion be­fore Amy Meis­ter, Queen An­napolisa, gave some re­marks thank­ing the peo­ple of Hantsport and her fel­low lead­er­ship can­di­dates for mak­ing it all pos­si­ble.

Meis­ter said she was ex­cited to learn more about The Haven of Hos­pi­tal­ity.

“I’ve never been to Hantsport this in-depth be­fore, I’ve driven through it and driven through Wind­sor, but I’m re­ally ex­cited to see Churchill House and all of the his­toric el­e­ments of Hantsport and Wind­sor,” Meis­ter said. “It’s go­ing to be re­ally fun.”

Meis­ter said she’s been able to meet so many peo­ple through her par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fes­ti­val.

“I’ve learned a lot about pub­lic speak­ing, in­ter­view skills and I’ve gained a lot of con­fi­dence,” she said. “That’s some­thing I’ll keep work­ing on through­out this whole ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Court­ney Gar­land, who rep­re­sents Hantsport at this year’s fes­ti­val, said she was thrilled to be back in her home com­mu­nity.

“I was writing my speech this morn­ing and I thought I was go­ing to cry in the mid­dle of it be­cause my heart is so full be­cause this com­mu­nity has given so much to me,” Gar­land said. “It’s nice to come back and see ev­ery­one who has sup­ported me.”

Gar­land said one thing that has stood out to her through­out the Ap­ple Blos­som ex­pe­ri­ence is the im­por­tance of be­ing your­self.

“We all didn’t re­ally fo­cus on the com­pe­ti­tion, but rather get­ting to know each other and hav­ing a good time,” she said. “I think all of our per­son­al­i­ties re­ally came for­ward and the bonds we’ve made are un­be­liev­able.”

Her child at­ten­dant Abby Se­f­cik, 9, said the whole ex­pe­ri­ence was an ex­cit­ing one.

Eleanor Gal­lant, last year’s Queen An­napolisa, who is also from Hantsport, came as well, say­ing she felt nos­tal­gic about com­ing back for Ap­ple Blos­som.

“Ex­actly a year ago to­day, I was com­ing back and vis­it­ing for the first time, see­ing my fam­ily for the first time af­ter a re­ally in­cred­i­ble be­gin­ning,” Gal­lant said. “It’s re­ally nice to be able to come back and see the mem­o­ries that the new royal party is mak­ing. It’s re­ally nice to see the fes­ti­val is in such good hands with the girls we have this year.”

Af­ter hav­ing sup­per at Churchill House in Hantsport, the royal party trav­elled to Wind­sor, where they greeted guests at the Hants County War Memo­rial Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

Wind­sor’s Sa­van­nah Sul­li­van said the whole ex­pe­ri­ence has been “un­ex­plain­able,” adding that she’s hon­oured to rep­re­sent Wind­sor-West Hants.

“I didn’t re­al­ize how many life­time friend­ships I would make with all of th­ese girls,” Sul­li­van said. “I thought, ‘how could you bond with girls in four days?’ That’s crazy. But, within a few hours, we were best friends.”

COLIN CHISHOLM

The royal party makes its way to Churchill House in Hantsport be­fore mov­ing on to Wind­sor near the end of the Ap­ple Blos­som Fes­ti­val.

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