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Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu Royalty Court

Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu- Royalty  greet the Seafair Pirates on July 9, 2005. (photo/Karen Ducey)


Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu- Royalty  |  July 9, 2005  |  West Seattle


The Hi-Yu Royalty Court has been a West Seattle tradition for 71 years, but participation has been on the decline. Hi-Yu historian Dorothy Poplawski says in the 1950’s and 60’s, 20 or more applicants would try out; yet this year there were just four applicants, barely enough to make up the court.

Teaching young women the importance of community service and etiquette may seem a bit outdated. These girls, though, see the court as an opportunity to prepare for their futures and earn scholarship money. The girls and their parents make a float and participate in a rigorous schedule of summer parades and community events throughout Western Washington. The West Seattle Hi-Yu Grand Parade is set for 11 a.m. tomorrow on California Ave. SW between Lander and Edmunds street.



Miss Junior West Seattle Hi – Yu Court Queen Kathryn Gouker, age 10 (left in picture above)

We had to fill out an application with all kinds of questions and then we had to go and sit in a room with a panel of 5 judges and they’d ask us questions like ‘what does this community mean to you and what’s one thing you’d change about your community.’ I’d change how dirty it was. ..sometimes I embarrass myself in front of them (the senior court), like I act like a really little kid which is really funny. Its nice cuz they’re older and they can show you what you have to do and what you’re supposed to say and things like that. ..we are the only festival who has a junior court who rides with the senior court to the parades not just in our community (but) like toMarysville, and Sequim, and Port Townsend so that’s fun. We are not just enclosed in our own community. We get to visit new places and we don’t just let the senior group represent West Seattle. The junior court does as well. I think I’ll definitely use the speaking out in front of crowds and learning to talk fluently in front of a microphone. I think I’ll definitely use that stuff when I’m applying for middle school this fall and I think I’ll use the smile a lot more ‘cuz I usually didn’t smile with my teeth open so now I do.


2005 Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu Queen Erin Waid, age 19(in picture above rear, far left)

A lot of people like to call it a beauty pageant and its not that at all. Its exactly the opposite basically. We like to call it a scholarship pageant because it’s a lot more based on your personality, what you’ve done with your community, how you’ve performed in school, just more on a personal level rather than just the objective beauty-type pageant. I had seen the candidates in their cars and I had seen the court on the float and I was kind of like ‘Oh That looks like fun. I don’t know if I’ll ever do it.’ But then I got a little bit older and I had a lot of things going. I just thought it would be a good way to get a scholarship for college because colleges nowadays are just so expensive and every little bit helps. I just kind of did it on a whim and it ended up just being a great experience. We do a lot of community events and we do a lot of things within the community so to me it was a really great opportunity to meet a lot of different people within West Seattle and get better aquainted with the people here and the merchants and everyone. There were 4 of us who were candidates and all 4 of us made the court. Every single one of us got a scholarship in addition to certain awards that we received. We as the court have to do a lot of public speaking events, and I think that that can really help me in the future. And just gaining confidence. I think that we have to talk to so many people and meet a lot of new people. Besides being a lot of fun its just a great way to get know people and a great way to interact with people. And also it’s a great way to meet people who can help you in your future. I was really honored because I just felt so excited to see them (the Seafair pirates) and the court got to be in this little space while everyone else was roped off. So it was fun to be there and I did feel very, very honored to be one of the first people to see the pirates. It was very exciting.


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