This year’s Railroad Days court was announced on Friday, March 13 at Durand Union Station during the 2020 Railroad Days Crowning Ceremony. The court includes (from left) Princess Peyton Allred, Queen Hannah Johnson, Attendant Riley Vandendries and Prince Branson Baize.
Johnson, an 18-year-old senior at Durand High School, was sponsored by Shaw’s Pharmacy & Gifts. Hannah has volunteered at a teen heart screening through Hurley Medical Center and at the Crim in the medical tent. Hannah is currently the president of the National Honors Society and an active member of the FFA. She is also involved in student government, the suicide prevention program and is on the golf team, dance team and tennis team. Hannah has been on the honor roll for all four years of high school, earned the Greenhand Award for FFA, been Student of the Month and earned Second-Team All-Conference for golf, as well as making states. She plans on attending the nursing program at the University of Michigan-Flint and then moving on to becoming a certified physician’s assistant.
Vandendries, a 17-year-old senior at Durand High School, was sponsored by Stomping Grounds Café. Riley is involved in FFA, NHS, student government, Madrigals, varsity volleyball, varsity basketball and varsity softball. She has received many awards, including an Academic Excellence award for all four years of high school, Academic All-State for volleyball in 2019 and Team Academic All-State for volleyball in 2018 and 2019. Riley plans on attending Eastern Michigan University to study clinical laboratory sciences.
Allred is a 1st-grader at Bertha Neal Elementary and was sponsored by Durand VFW 2272. Peyton has two siblings, Liam and Ivory, and a cat named Oliver. She enjoys camping, bonfires and making s’mores. Peyton is very active in dance, where she does jazz and gymnastic dance.
Baize is a 2nd-grader at Robert Kerr Elementary and was sponsored by Riverside Market. He has a sister, Brittany, and a brother, Dean. Branson enjoys playing with his dog, Thumper, and his cats, Tucker, Blue and Oreo. He likes to build with LEGOs, and he loves dinosaurs. He also plays basketball.
Scholarships were provided by Randy Wise of Durand and Railroad Days, Inc. in the amount of $1,000 for the Queen and $500 for her Attendant. Candidates were interviewed as part of the selection process prior to the Railroad Days 2020 Crowning Ceremony, and they were judged on their application entry essay, interview, answers to questions, poise, presentation, confidence, personality and clarity of speech.
The annual Princess contest was sponsored by the Durand Lioness club and the Prince contest was sponsored by Randy Wise of Durand.
The Queen, Attendant, Princess, and Prince will represent the 45th annual Durand Railroad Days festival held Thursday, May 14 through Sunday, May 17, the weekend after Mother’s Day. The Railroad Days royalty will appear in various parades and community functions throughout the coming year.