The five candidates for Queen Alalah shared the stage Oct. 27 in rhinestone-clad evening wear as this year’s queen was named.
When the voting was done, Kyrstyn Kinzie donned the crown of Queen Alalah LXXXVI during the Coronation ceremony at Cowley College’s Robert Brown Theatre.
“When I was 4, I attended an Arkalalah Coronation that was just as exciting as this one,” she said.
Queen Alalah LXXXV Morgan Bruce was on hand to pass her crown onto Kinzie, whose journey has come full circle after serving as first runner-up for Little Miss Arkalalah in 2001.
“I’m so happy to experience this with the four beautiful girls that sit here in front of me,” Kinzie said during her interview time.
The first runner-up was Arkansas City native Brylee Burroughs. The other three candidates were Mary Anderson, Jordan Day and Braydee Holmes.
Kinzie family tradition
A video Kinzie shared with the audience spoke fondly of her family and her memories of Arkalalah.
“My focus is to represent my family, then the college and Arkansas City, in the best way possible,” she said.
Kyrstyn is the daughter of Marty and Jacinda Kinzie, of Derby. Her grandparents are Charlie and Darlene Kinzie, and Tom and the late Marilyn Shaw, all of Arkansas City.
She has three sisters — Casey Lonis, 34; Chelsea Lonteen, 28; and Timber Kinzie, 22. She also had a brother, Jace, who passed away in 2008.
Kyrstyn wore a dark blue ribbon on her dress in honor of her uncle, who is battling colon cancer.
Although she spent most of her life in Manhattan, Kinzie never has missed an Arkalalah.
Just two years ago, she took part in the Coronation festivities, serving as Miss Manhattan.
Kinzie moved to Manhattan at the age of 4 and went on to graduate from Manhattan High School in 2016.
While attending Manhattan schools, she was involved in cheerleading, the Spirit Club and FFA.
Her extracurricular activities continued during her time at Cowley.
Kinzie spent her first semester at Cowley as a member of the cheer team, is a Student Ambassador and president of the Student Senate, and was a previous resident assistant at The Lodge dormitory.
“Being at Cowley has blessed me with many friends and a lifetime of memories,” Kinzie said. “This is an incredible honor. I am ready to serve the community in a positive way.”
Special education focus
Away from Cowley, Kinzie is involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and also works with Four County Mental Health and in area after-school programs.
She is following in her mother’s footsteps by majoring in early childhood education and special education.
“My mother is a special education instructor, so I have grown up around the program and have never thought about pursuing any other career,” Kinzie said.
“I like to benefit their lives and have them be treated the same as everyone else.”
After graduating from Cowley, she plans to transfer to Wichita State University.
There were several entertainment acts during the Coronation ceremony, including A.I.M. Dance Studio, the Prairie Voice choir and JourneyKids.
Those in attendance also were given a sneak peek at the upcoming college production of “Mary Poppins.”
More than two dozen former queens were recognized during the ceremony, as well as visiting queens from many surrounding towns in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma.
Cooper Aldridge was crowned Little Mr. Arkalalah and Baylor Graber was named Little Miss Arkalalah.
Tony Tapia was presented with a gift and flowers for serving as this year’s Grand Marshal.
Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications and Public Relations Rama Peroo contributed to this story.