The quintessential maritime celebration honoring the Columbia River and its influence on Clatsop County is the Astoria Regatta. In its 124th year, this celebration features four local high school students, celebrating the development of these women as important contributors to our community. From the time they are chosen the girls are active in the area speaking and sharing about their love for and the importance of the Columbia River, historically and at present. According to the Astoria Regatta’s secretary Melissa Grothe, each girl is also matched with a “Strong woman leader or career woman that would help be a role model or example for our court.” Through this connection, the Regatta court members pursue volunteering opportunities and a job shadow in order to network and better understand the field they hope to pursue post-graduation. Each ambassador is awarded a scholarship from the organization to seek their goals as area alumni. Come out and meet this year’s court August 8-11, starting with the Past Queen’s Reception, ending with the Regatta Pops Concert, with lots of fun in between.
Megan Postlewait, the 2017 Regatta Queen says the Astoria Regatta is “A part of growing up.” She has enjoyed attending the events for years and has wanted to be on the court since she was a young girl. The Regatta court came to speak to her Girl Scout troop and she was convinced it was for her. Today Megan and the court have the opportunity to do the same, practicing their public speaking skills and getting to know the community. “Learning about new people and talking with so many personalities is my favorite part of the Regatta,” Megain claims. Outside of her responsibilities as queen, Megan is an actively involved student at Astoria High School. Her interests range from knitting to swimming, which she has done competitively for seven years. She is also a self-proclaimed “math nerd”, claiming a love for, “Complex puzzles and relationships that make up the world.” Those relationships are part of the reason she is involved in the Regatta, “Our community would not be the same without the Regatta,” she explains. “The river has made the community here and is still playing a part in how Astoria is shaped.”
Katie, a senior at Seaside High School, is a runner, surfer, and a hard worker. She is participating in the Astoria Regatta this year thanks to a tip from a previous princess and friend, Sydney Ordeal. “She really encouraged me to go for it because it was such a good experience for her,” Katie explains. Katie has happily added regal duties to her agenda this year, in addition to her positions at The Roost and Pelican Brewing Company. Through these jobs she has witnessed the beauty of living in a tight-knit community, calling her co-workers and regulars, “A second family.” As she rides the waves this August, they will be cheering her on, along with her family and friends. Katie is excited to see community members come together for the week’s events and, “Celebrate our maritime heritage,” in the Making Waves 2018 Regatta.
“I think Making Waves inspires people to make a difference,” Danielle Morinville, senior and princess from Knappa High School, says of this year’s theme. And through her experience this year, she has done just that, as a volunteer at Astor elementary. This rewarding contact was organized through her mentor Jen Holen, to match her interest in early childhood education. Danielle spent time in counseling class and a kindergarten class. “She wants to do well for herself and her community,” Meche Brownlow, Astor’s counselor says of Danielle. And for her, the Regatta is an important part of that community, “It is one of the oldest festivals west of the Rockies,” she explains. “The Columbia River has been a huge part of our community’s history, from trade to fishing.” Danielle is excited to participate in this memorable event in August, as well as engage with the community and work on her skills as a speaker.
“There’s much more to being a princess than doing the iconic wave and attending parades,” Catherine Tapales, senior of Warrenton High School explains. Although she does enjoy these parts as well. Growing up, Catherine looked up to princesses and queen when attending the land parade with her grandmother. As a result, she says,”My favorite thing so far has been when a little girl tells you that they want to be a princess too. It’s weird to think that I was one of them some time ago.”
Catherine volunteers at Fort Clatsop, working with children, and she looks forward to a career in medicine someday. Through Rachel Van Dusen, her mentor, she was able to shadow a pathologist at Columbia Memorial Hospital this year in pursuit of her dream. Connections and community are what make Clatsop great she says, “Everyone cares about one another and you won’t go far without finding a friend.” The Regatta is a great way to bring people together she asserts, “People of all backgrounds come out to enjoy it.” Which is why she is happy to be a part of it. “Being a regatta princes is an amazing experience and I am truly grateful for this opportunity.”
“I can’t wait to represent my community as a Regatta princess,” says Nikkole Sasso, Astoria High School senior. As an Astoria native, Nikkole understands the value of making connections in her community through her work and her play. She can be found serving up lattes and cold brews at Dutch Bros. and performing through Encore Dance Studio. She is used to an audience, having been a dancer since she was three, working her way up to teaching classes through the organization. Nikkole’s community will be out to support her in the Making Waves events this year.