Kylie Kuwada is Garlic Festival Queen

Cal Poly student awarded $12,200 in scholarships

Kylie Kuwada, a 20-year-old Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student from Gilroy, is the 2019 Miss Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen.

The Christopher High School alum was selected May 19 at the annual scholarship pageant held at New Hope Community Church. She and her court of nine young women will represent the 41st annual Gilroy Garlic Festival at numerous pre-festival activities and throughout the three days of the festival, July 26-28.

Kuwada was awarded the $1,000 top prize from the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association as well as a $10,000 scholarship from Christopher Ranch. She also was awarded the Past Queen and Past President scholarships valued at $400 and $800. Additionally, she tied for Best Speech with Lilly Higgins from San Jose’s Presentation High School, and tied for Best Talent with Christopher High School alumna Brianna Budelli.

Higgins received $5,500 in scholarships as first runner-up. Second runner-up Lauryn Longoria, a Vanguard University student, received $3,250 in scholarships.

Christopher Ranch awarded $1,500 to princesses Amaya Leyba-Guerra, Katie Van Horn and Rae Ceballos, all of Gilroy High; Simran Sihra, of the Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy; Jenessa Andrade, of Christopher High School and Gavilan College; and Brianna Budelli and Gisselle Oliveira, of Christopher High School.

Van Horn was awarded the Founding Fathers scholarship of $500, and Budelli was awarded the Olam scholarship of $1,000. Leyba-Guerra was named Miss Congeniality.

“Special thanks to Christopher Ranch for their generosity, New Hope Community Church for hosting this very special event, and to everyone who attended,” said Queen Pageant Chair Katie Alatorre.

Pageant judges included Ken Christopher, Stephanie Vegh, Dewey Lucero, Claudia Sandoval and Shay Matthews.