2017-02-16 / Front Page

Danielle Cherry is Carnival Queen

Aspen Toliver, Claudia Biron are runner-ups

Danielle Cherry, the 2017 Newport Winter Carnival Queen, waves to the crowd during the carnival parade. — PAUL HOWE PHOTODanielle Cherry, the 2017 Newport Winter Carnival Queen, waves to the crowd during the carnival parade. — PAUL HOWE PHOTO

NEWPORT — Once upon a time there was a Newport Winter Carnival princess who dreamed of becoming the queen and for Danielle Cherry, 17, that dream came true Friday evening, Feb. 10 when she was crowned queen of the 101st Newport Winter Carnival at the Newport Opera House before an enthusiastic audience of 520.

“I didn’t seem to know what was going on when my name was called and I was speechless,”  Cherry exclaimed. “Amanda O’Dell was my role model as queen when I was in second grade,” Cherry said.

She has her own impressive list of accomplishments, with twin victories for National Champion and a four-time string of wins as Disney Champion for baton twirling. Cherry maintains a place on the honor roll and is part of the National Honor Society at Bishop Brady High School in Concord where she is a junior.

Cherry was the No. 1 fundraiser and placed first in the talent competition for her baton/dance routine, for which she twirled her way around the stage to a fitting selection,  “Confident,” by Demi Lovato. With local sponsors and her fundraising efforts, Cherry received an educational scholarship. Cherry nurtures another dream, which is becoming an Academy Award film director.

The daughter of Dan and Sandy Cherry of Newport, Danielle has been a performer for the Red Star Twirlers based in Derry since 2012. “She’s a great kid, works so hard and I’m very happy,”  said Cherry’s mother.

“We are very blessed and hard work does pay off,” Cherry’s father commented. Aspen Toliver, a senior at Newport High School and daughter of Joe and Cristy Ryba, was first runner-up as well as Miss Congeniality. She was a contestant in the 2016 pageant.

Second runner-up and recipient of the Lisa Gauvin Award was Claudia Biron, a senior at Newport High School and the daughter of Patrick and Amy Zullo. She was also second runner-up in 2016.

The princes and princesses stepped it up to the lively tune, “Walking on Sunshine,” by Katrina and the Waves. The energy of the song and their performance revved up the audience.

The young girls in their neon, ballerina-style dresses and the boys with their glittery striped vests topping black pants, highlighted the 80’s carnival theme.

Other queen contestants were Hannah Everitt, daughter of Ken and Jeannine Everitt; Emma Kibbie, daughter of David and Catherine Kibbie; Kyrstin Kibbey, daughter of Raymond and Kristy Kibbey and Jasmine Patenaude, daughter of Jodi and Aaron Wheeler and David Boissonneault Anthony DiPaola Jr. served as master of ceremonies. Kristie Howe was pageant director. Escorts were Hunter Johnson and Jacob Merritt.

Eileen Barton, seven-year coordinator for the princes and princesses, was recognized upon her retirement and thanked for her service.

One-hundred folks displayed their Yankee spirit by braving the frigid temps and snow to partake in the Yankee Luau Thursday night on the Newport Common. “All the diehards came out and it was a great dinner,”  said PJ Lovely, director of the Newport Recreation Department. With some cancellations due to weather on Saturday, there were not enough floats in the parade to award for third place, organizer Chris Smith reported.

In the category of floats the winners were the Newport Moose Lodge in first place in the 25-loot and over category, with Car Nutz Club ranking second. For the under 25-foot category, Road to Independence was first and the children’s group of Richards Free Library was second. The theme for the annual photo contest hosted by the Library Arts Center was “Name that 80’s Tune.” for which a song was assigned to the subject of the photo. Although entries came from several area towns, winners were, all Newporters.

Judge Linda Billingsly decided to award two second-place and two third-place winners because she was impressed with all the entries. First place went to Paula Johnson for “Time After Time;” second place winners, Ann St. Martin Stout for “Another One Bites the Dust”  and Caleb Godwin for  “Cadillac Ranch”  and third -place winners, Kerry Rochford Hague with “Total Eclipse of the Heart,”  and Mike Johnson,  “Cars”  and  “Wild, Wild West.”

Sixty fishing enthusiasts participated in the fishing derby hosted by Pinnacle Bait and Tackle on Sunday. Adult winners were Cody Jennison,24-inch  pickerel; Matt Maxham, 13 1/2-inch yellow perch and Mike Hutt, 10 1/2-inch rock bass. In the kids’ category the winners were Aiden Hicks, 22-inch  pickerel and Emry Hooper, 13 1/2-inch perch.

No lake trout was weighed in. Approximately $1,000 in merchandise was given out in drawings for anyone who had participated and  $400 in cash was awarded for the biggest fish caught.

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