Ramsey and Rocha crowned Baileyfest’s King and Queen
In a regal coronation ceremony attended by the fifth grade classes at The Sanibel School, Principal Barbara Von Harten crowned Jacob Ramsey and Nikko Rocha the King and Queen, respectively, of this year’s 25th Annual Baileyfest celebration.
Each fifth grader at the school had submitted an essay where they described what they liked best about living on Sanibel, which were turned over — with the writer’s names omitted — to a panel of judges. The judges narrowed the field down to three finalists for each royal title before the King and Queen were determined.
“It was very difficult (to select the winners) this year because your writing was fabulous,” Von Harten told the class on Wednesday morning following the announcements. “The essays last year were excellent, but what I’ve seen come out of the fifth grade this year has been incredible.”
First, Von Harten strolled around the classroom with the Queen’s crown, mysteriously making her way through the maze of desks before finally placing the bejeweled tiara on top of Rocha’s head.
“I didn’t think I was gonna be picked,” said Rocha afterwards. “I’ve been here since the third grade and have watched the crowning of the Kind and Queen every year on Sea-TV. I never thought it would be me.”
Next, the principal engaged in the same exercise before crowning the King. When the crown was placed on Ramsey’s head, the entire classroom erupted in applause.
“This is just amazing,” said Ramsey, who said he is looking forward to playing Coconut Football at Baileyfest next weekend. “I’m really excited about being the King.”
Both Ramsey and Rocha will read their winning essays at Baileyfest, which will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24 at the Bailey’s Center (corner of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road). The family-oriented event will include live entertainment, food and beverages, games and rides.