Feast of Lanterns 2019


Written by Caroline Coen , Journalist

Every Pagrovian knows about the Feast of Lanterns. This tradition, unique to Pacific Grove, began in 1905 as the closing ceremony of the annual Chautauqua Assembly, a movement focusing on educating women and encouraging the study of the natural world. In 1958, Elmarie Hurlbert Hyler Dyke, wife of city councilmember Clyde Dyke, revived the Feast of Lanterns and created the Royal Court as we know it today. The Feast of Lanterns has evolved greatly over time, and today it offers an opportunity for young people to serve as ambassadors to their community. Their outreach extends from the youngest to the oldest in our community, as members of the Court visit preschools and retirement centers throughout their reign.

This year, the Feast of Lanterns harkens back to its history with the theme “Lanterns from all nations make a brighter world.” This catchphrase of Elmarie reminds us of the ideas central to the Feast of Lanterns, celebrating the fact that the United States is a nation of immigrants and that our differences enrich our community and our world.

The 2019 Royal Court was officially presented to the community on Tuesday, April 2 at Canterbury Woods. This year, five young women, chosen based on community-mindedness and academic achievement, are excited to represent their community as role models and leaders. Ivana Reynolds, Princess Ruby 2019, has looked up to the Royal Court her whole life and is excited to finally have the opportunity to partake in the Feast as a princess. Her other interests include softball and musical theater. Reynolds will promote from eighth grade at Pacific Grove Middle School this spring. Princess Amethyst 2019 is freshman Abdhi Jadeja. Outside of school, Jadeja trains and competes in martial arts and plays on the Pacific Grove girls’ tennis team. Princess Pearl 2019, freshman Cali Knoop, returns to the court after reigning as Princess Emerald 2018. Knoop enjoys participating in school theatrical productions and is also involved at her church. Noor Benny, a current junior at Pacific Grove High School, is Princess Emerald 2019. Benny is a three trimester Breaker athlete, participating in cross country, basketball, and track and field. Sophomore Caroline Coen returns to the Royal Court after reigning as Princess Emerald 2017 and Princess Amethyst 2018. She is ecstatic to fulfill her childhood dream by reigning as Queen Topaz 2019. Coen enjoys participating in tennis, cross country, soccer, and track and field and looks forward to serving her community again this year with the Feast of Lanterns.