October 28, 2003
Shawnee, Okla., native crowned Queen Alalah LXXII
Candace Salas was so sure she wouldn’t be crowned Queen Alalah that she went dancing at Graham Central Station in Wichita the night before the Queen’s Coronation.
Salas, a sophomore pre-pharmacy major, was crowned Queen Alalah LXXII Friday night at Cowley County Community College.
Chelsea Bland, a sophomore from Ponca City, Okla., was runner-up.
“Since I wasn’t expecting it, I was like ‘let’s get this show on the road and eat some pizza’,” Salas said. “My eyes started to water when they called my name. I was in complete shock.”
Salas, one of five finalists chosen by Cowley students and employees in balloting two weeks ago, was the winner after voting by the Coronation audience.
Salas said several people approached her during the Saturday parade expressing their well wishes.
“A lot of people came up to me and told me I did a wonderful job,” Salas said. “I had a lot of fun. I was very surprised at how much the community gets involved with Arkalalah.”
Salas’ crowning capped a big night during Arkansas City’s annual fall festival, Arkalalah. The queens and 19 visiting queens from surrounding communities were guests at the Queen’s Banquet held earlier Friday evening.
Then, “River Side Story,” a play on the Broadway musical “West Side Story,” was the theme for the Queen’s Coronation, held for the first time in the Robert Brown Theatre inside the Brown Center for Arts, Sciences and Technology.
Nineteen former Queen Alalahs were on hand for the festivities, including the first Queen Alalah, Dorothy Moore Harbaugh.
“I’m 92 years old and I can’t imagine I’m still here,” said Harbaugh, who lives in Enid, Okla. “I was thrilled to death to be crowned the first Queen Alalah.”
Salas, 20, is an active Cowley student. She is captain of the Tigerette Danceline, is a member of the Math and Science Club, Campus Christian Fellowship, and she plays Powder Puff intramural football. She also holds a part-time job at Graves Drugstore in Arkansas City.
Salas is the daughter of Terry and Steve Salas of Shawnee. She expressed her gratitude toward many who supported her.
“I got tremendous support from my Danceline teammates, from the people at Graves, and from my foster parents, Matt and Roxanna James,” Salas said. “I feel awesome.”
Dr. David Ross served as master of ceremonies at the Coronation. Entertainment was provided by Cowley’s CC Singers, the Coronation Dance Company, the Arkansas City High School Jazz Band, the Ark High Singers, and the Cowley Tigerettes. Ross also was named this year’s Arkalalah Grand Marshal.