Bellaire grad makes Cherry Queen final four

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

The 2019 National Cherry Queen finalists include (from left): Karissa Buell, Sierra Moore and (right) Nikki Schweitzer, along with Bellaire’s Kennan Dawson. Shown with the finalists is current National Cherry Queen Grace Boyles of Elk Rapids. 


BELLAIRE – Kennan Dawson, a 2018 valedictorian and graduate of Bellaire High School, was one of four finalists selected last Saturday night in Traverse City to compete for the title of this year's National Cherry Queen.

She is the daughter of Doug Dawson, of the Bellaire Movie Theater and other area cinemas, and Lorri Dawson, multi-media specialist at Bellaire High School. Kennan represented the Bellaire Chamber of Commerce and the Miss Bellaire Scholarship Program for several years as Young Miss Bellaire, Pre-Teen Miss Bellaire, Junior Miss Bellaire and Miss Bellaire 2016. 

A member of the National Honor Society and Student Council in high school, she was considered an integral part of the ladies' varsity basketball, cross-country and track teams, and served on the state-qualifying 4×800 meter relay team in addition to receiving honors as a member of the First Team All-Conference in cross country.

Currently a student at Alma College, where she is majoring in biology, Kennan hopes to become a veterinarian.

She was one of eight 2019 National Cherry Queen competitors considered during two days of interviews with former Cherry Queens and others involved with the festival, including 1995 Cherry Queen Sara Veliquette McGuire, now owner of Royal Farms in Atwood and a co-chair with the National Cherry Queen program.

Kennan will face off against fellow finalists Karissa Buell, a Central Michigan University student from Traverse City; Sierra Moore, a Kalamazoo College student from Traverse City; and Nikki Schweitzer, a Grand Valley State University student from Traverse City, throughout a full week of activities during the Cherry Festival.

The 2019 winner will be chosen at the Queen’s Ball scheduled for July 5.

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