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Round 4: The Apple Queen of Wenatchee, WI
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Round 4: The Apple Queen of Wenatchee, WI
APPLE QUEEN CROWNED IN CONTROVERSIAL PAGEANT INCIDENT



by Josie O'Connell

Star-Gazette Staff Writer



WENATCHEE (REUTERS) -- For more than forty years, Wenatchee's annual Apple Festival has drawn people from all over the state to celebrate the town's official fruit. The Festival is a weekend-long revel through the apple orchards, with rides for the kids, live music by the Apple Barrellers, and more pie-eating contests than one would deem healthy.



This year, said Jerry Baxter, Wenatchee's 72-year-old Apple Mascot, the usual highlight of the Festival -- the Apple Queen annual pageant -- was a scene unseen in the four decades of its existence.



"It was mayhem," Baxter said, still nursing a few contusions from his fall, "The Apple Princesses were waiting to find out who was runner up, and I was just standing there in my apple costume like I do every year, ready to crown the new Queen, and apparently, they just weren't too keen on having Mary Alice win."



Mary Alice Simpson, 18, was barely crowned before the second runner up, Tiffany Johnson, also 18, snatched the crown and ran. Observers say she was yelling incomprehensibly, but they think it had to do with her version of "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" being better than Simpson's. In the scuffle, Baxter was knocked from the stage, but luckily, the heavily-padded apple suit kept him from being seriously harmed.



A new crown has been issued to Simpson, who declined comment.

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