The queen of the 2017 Fiestas de Santiago y Santa Ana is Señorita Savannah Renee Rose Mary Romero. She has dreamed of being Reina since 2004, when she was queen attendant for her aunt Stephanie Romero, who was crowned that year.
Today, a few days after having been chosen Reina, she says she still can’t believe it happened.
“I wake up in the middle of the night, look at my sash and remind myself that it’s real,” she said with a bright smile.
La Reina is 18 years old and a 2017 graduate from Taos Cyber Magnet School.
“Savannah is a very focused and smart young woman,” said Cyber Magnet Director Kate Jensen. “When she sets her mind on something, she gets it done. I am so proud of her!”
Reina Savannah was a member of the Taos Tigers Classics Drill Team, where she took part in state competitions for several years and received a scholarship to the University of the Southwest. An enthusiastic dancer, she started taking flamenco lessons with Catalina Río Fernandez when she was just 3 years old.
In 2015, she traveled to the Dominican Republic to provide humanitarian services through the Rustic Pathways oganization. She currently attends University of New Mexico-Taos (UNM-Taos) and will be transferring to the main campus in Albuquerque to pursue a career in medicine and health sciences with a minor in dance.
“I want to thank my family, my friends, my sponsors and all the community,” she said. “I will do my best to represent all Taoseños, and be a role model for our youth. Muchas gracias a todos.”
The Royal Court
Princesa Ariana Janelle Celina Veronica Baca is 17 years old. An honors student, she takes dual credit courses at the University of New Mexico-Taos. She recently won the Emperor Science Award and gained a mentorship with an oncologist. She is also a member of the Outlaw 4-H Club and serves as Taos County president for the 4H Council.
Her Catholic faith is very important for her, so the Fiestas theme (God, Family, Friends and Community: La Fiestas de Taos) was particularly meaningful to Princesa Ariana. She is part of the St. Michaels Youth Core Groups, the Retreat Team at Our Lady of Guadalupe and a member of the Guadalupanas Pilgrimage Group. She plans to attend New Mexico State University in Las Cruces to become an anesthesiologist.
Princesa Mariana Fatima Sebastian Jimenez-Gonzales is 17 years old. She is a member of the Honor Society and HOSA-Health Occupation Students of America. A project very close to her heart is to prevent teen suicides and raise awareness about the issue. She has been a member of the Teens for Awareness Club since December 2016. She was also member of the Lady Tigers volleyball team, the Outlaws 4H Club and a violinist for Mariachi El Tigre.
Princesa Gabriella Aaliyah Bridget Marie Perez is 16 years old. She has been a member of the Taos High School varsity cheerleading squad for the last four years and is also part of Mariachi El Tigre, where she plays the violin and performs traditional New Mexico Spanish colonial dances. She has been a member of the student nutrition program at Taos High for the last three years and plans to attend Arizona State University.
“I want to send a message to other girls — step out of your comfort zone as I did when I entered the pageant!” she said.
The Fiesta Mass and Crowning of the Queen will take place on Friday, July 21, 5:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
¡Que vivan las Fiestas!