The 53rd Sunland-Tujunga Watermelon Festival Coronation took place at 11am on Saturday, July 19. The event opened with a rousing performance by the Verdugo Voices Glee Club and Junior Glee Club, under the direction of Edward Trimis. National Watermelon Queen Brandi Harrison, presided over the presentation with Brenda Fortune, Development Director of the Festival and Julie Cuddihy the Royal Court Director of Protocol, also handing out the awards.
The winner of the Watermelon Queen title was Calista Yakhaman of Verdugo Hills High School, who ran to raise money for the Drama Club. Ruben Mendez was announced as Watermelon King and ran to help the Verdugo Hills Varsity Football Team. Watermelon Princess was Desiree Marquez who ran for the Varsity Softball team, with Watermelon Prince Christian Aghakhanian who ran to raise funds for the Varsity Baseball team. The Watermelon Royal Court members included Taylor Monet Hanes, Shelby Hass, Erin Timmins, Karina Valencia and Emely Callejas, as well as Carter Otte, Jonathan Scott Owens and William R.J. Torres.