Ashley Rosilez of Templeton is named 2020 Miss Salinas Valley Fair. (Photo by Skyward Photography)

KING CITY — Salinas Valley Fair announced in a YouTube video the selection and crowning of Ashley Rosilez of Templeton as 2020 Miss Salinas Valley Fair.

Rosilez was crowned by her sisters at their home over a recorded Zoom meeting while the panel of judges watched and applauded. She also sang a rendition of her fair-themed song, “This Fair Belongs to You and Me.”

“I wish that we were all in person at the fair, that would be the most ideal situation,” said Dominique Mantel, 2012 Miss Salinas Valley Fair, as part of the announcement. “However, I love the lemonade that we’re making with these lemons. It’s something that has never been done before.”

Mantel added, “I can definitely say in the past decade that I’ve been involved in this pageant, I have never seen something that unique be brought to our stage.”

In her interview, Rosilez said she felt it was important to “have a really strong public speaking ability” for her role representing the fair.

“Confidence is very important,” she said.

The crowning was performed as Rosilez and her sisters were in their family kitchen in Templeton, which in past years would have been done by the prior Miss Salinas Valley Fair — 2019’s Rose Escobar — as part of a ceremony at the fairgrounds in King City. This year’s ceremony and fair, however, were canceled amid health concerns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The sterling silver perpetual crown will be worn by Rosilez during her reign and be passed on to the next Miss Salinas Valley Fair after she finishes representing the fair and serving her community through April 2021.

“There’s memories that come with this crown and a responsibility to uphold not only your own personal name, but the representation and the picture that you project upon the Salinas Valley Fair,” Mantel said.

In addition to a crown, Rosilez was presented with chaps, a belt buckle, a trophy bracelet, a jacket, a frame photo, a sash, rose bouquet and other items. She will also receive a $2,000 academic scholarship.

“This money will go to Ashley and she will be able to put this toward her first freshman year in college,” Mantel said.

“You seem like you’re a very good, well-rounded girl,” said Lena Coulson, 2016 Miss Salinas Valley Fair, as she congratulated Rosilez. “You’re going to have a lot of fun. You’re going to represent the fair as best as you can.”

Coulson reminded Rosilez to cherish what she experiences and learns because it will be over within a year.

“Put those tools toward your education and toward your life in the future,” she said.

Callie Bassett, herself a past rodeo queen, added, “The skills that you learn in queening, today just in your presence and speaking, you’ll take those with you for the rest of your life.”

“We’re hoping that you’re going to represent us to your upmost best ability, and I’m sure you will,” Mantel said.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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