WENATCHEE — The Washington State Apple Blossom Festival has been taken place for more than a century — and it doesn't happen all on its own.

An army of volunteers led by Festival Administrator Darci Christopherson, has made it the success that it is.

In the photo with this report, 2020 Royalty candidate Carmen Valencia begins a practice interview in front of volunteers in a room at the Rivertop Bar and Grill in Wenatchee.

All 10 candidates sat through a 10-minute interview, later going over notes taken by observers to improve their skills. They will meet with the real judges on the morning of the Cashmere Valley Bank Royalty Selection Pageant last February.

Christoferson says the practice interviews have been going on for about 10 years. "The panel interviews help the candidates tremendously for the real thing," she says. The observers talked to judges after each interview and relayed information to the candidates about how they entered the room, their posture, speaking volume, confidence, and answers to their questions.