North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Strawberry Festival crowns Royalty


Christopher Andersson

This year's Strawberry Festival King Nathan Weller, center, with Princesses Katelynn Melohusky, left, and Kaitlyn Norris shortly after the April Friesner Memorial Royalty Scholarship Pageant in which they were selected on March 3.

The Marysville Strawberry Festival has a King this year as Nathan Weller was crowned on March 3 at this year's Marysville Strawberry Festival Pageant.

At this year's April Friesner Memorial Royalty Scholarship Pageant Nathan Weller was selected King while Katelynn Melohusky and Kaitlyn Norris were crowned as Princesses.

This year's Junior Royalty were also selected and are Emmah Butler, Abigail Lewis and Ziri Morales.

The pageant is the final test for candidates as they must give a speech, display a talent and answer an impromptu question.

The winner also takes home a $5,000 scholarship.

Marysville Getchell High School student Nathan Weller is the first King that Strawberry Festival has had in a few years.

He has a passion for music and is part of the pep band and wind ensemble for his school.

In addition he has two varsity letters for the marching band and is a drum major.

For his speech Nathan talked about his journey of finding music.

"It was our first time [at Getchell] having a wind ensemble and I appreciated the opportunity," he said.

"Failure is inevitable, but it's important to get through," he said.

He hopes one day to attend Brigham Young University or Central Washington University to study music education and pass his passion onto the next generation.

Nathan serves as the fundraising committee director for Getchell's National Honor Society.

Although Nathan was elected King, he didn't find out until a couple of minutes after the pageant had ended.

"I figured that the head winner would be announced last and I was announced second, so I thought 'well, I didn't win,' and I'm fine with that because I'm a good sport," he said.

As contestants were heading to their reception Nathan was informed that he had been elected as this year's King.

Nathan has had some friends who have been Senior Royalty in the past and was inspired to follow in their footsteps.

"I really admired them and thought they were having a crazy awesome time," he said. "I thought 'I want to be a part of this.'"

He hopes to "just spread some positivity to Washington state and the surrounding areas," he said.

"We have a really cool opportunity and I plan to use this opportunity to the best of my ability."

Princess Katelynn Melohusky is a senior at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

Her favorite subject is science and she hopes to study computer science in college.

As part of the girls varsity golf team she has won MVP two years in a row and is currently the team captain.

One of her biggest passions is Tae Kwan Do, which she has been practicing for the past eight years.

Her speech was about her work at a local dojo.

"Hard work, self-discipline, determination: these are the things that have gotten me to where I am today," said Katelynn.

"It's very important to me that I continue improving myself, which is why I am working on my second degree black belt," she said.

She said that she applied to be a part of the Royalty be she wants to give back to her community.

"I'm looking forward to doing parades and hanging out with these people, because Nathan and Kaitlyn, they're really cool people,"

Princess Kaitlyn Norris is a junior at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

She is a member of the Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program where she currently has the rank of Master Chief.

For the past three years she has been volunteering at Saint Joseph's House, a clothing bank in Marysville.

Her speech was about the small ways that we can help each other.

"I think that helping others can be small and often invisible," she said. "These little actions can be as simple as saying 'hello' to someone who looks lonely."

Kaitlyn hopes to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.

Her reaction to being crowned as one of this year's princesses was "a lot of energy."

"Because I'm so excited and happy and I can't wait to go all to the parades and be a part of this," she said.

"It's an opportunity to interact with dozens of communities in a really cool way," she said.

Junior Royalty's Emmah Butler is a 13-year-old who has been raised for most of her life in Marysville.

Currently she attends 10th Street Middle School, where she plays in the concert band and jazz band.

"It's really fun because I get to play piano in the rhythm section," she said.

For seven years she has played soccer and just starting participating in cross country this year.

During her free time she said she enjoys making crafts.

Emmah applied to be a part of this year's Royalty after seeing previous Royalty.

"I've been inspired by the Doty sisters [who have served as Queens in previous years] and how they would stand on the float looking amazing," she said.

Junior Royalty's Abigail Lewis is a Cedarcrest Middle School student that is involved with her school.

She plays flute in the band.

"I've been playing it since fifth grade and it is really fun," she said.

The Harry Potter series are her favorite books right now and she said she enjoys reading in general.

She hopes to study science in the future.

"Space really fascinates me and I want to learn more about that," she said.

Abigail wanted to be part of the Strawberry Festival because she saw how other Princesses affected people.

Christopher Andersson

This year's Strawberry Festival Junior Royalty, from left, Ziri Morales, Emmah Butler and Abigail Lewis, shortly after the April Friesner Memorial Royalty Scholarship Pageant in which they were selected on March 3.

"The effect she had on people made people's faces light up, and that's what I want to bring to others," she said.

Junior Royalty's Ziri Morales is a seventh grader from Marysville Middle School.

She enjoys music and plays many instruments, including the saxophone in her school band, drums and the ukulele.

Ziri also likes singing.

Her family is extensive, with five sisters ranging from 15 to 34 years of age.

Volleyball is Ziri's favorite sport. "Ever since I tried it, I loved it," she said.

In the future she hopes to attend Brigham Young University to learn to be a teacher or a pediatric dental hygienist.

"School is very important to me," she said.

More information and updates about the upcoming Marysville Strawberry Festival can be found at


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