PHOTOS: A royal affair with the 29th annual Spellebration |

PHOTOS: A royal affair with the 29th annual Spellebration

Jon Banks extends his wings for a pose with Martha Fredendall, the executive director of Literacy Outreach.

Literacy Outreach’s annual Spellebration, a Royal Spelling Bee, brought together 15 fiefdoms to compete to be crowned the spelling bee champions of Garfield County Friday night at the Hotel Colorado.

The teams were given 72 words to compete over with only one word no one could spell, “coulrophobia,” which means an extreme or irrational fear of clowns, while “victuals” and “panegyric” confused 12 of the 15 teams, Literacy Outreach Executive Director Martha Fredendall wrote in an email after the event.

First place was team ”Her Royal Highness Heather Exby’s Exquisite Exponents,” sponsored by Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley campus. Spelling for her royal highness was Kevin Cote, Virginia Nicolai, and Yesenia Silva Estrada. Sponsored by KMTS and led by Jon Banks, the “Knaves, Maidens, Trolls and Sorcerers” (or KMTS, clever!) placed a very close second. And after a moving tribute to their former co-worker Lisa Detweiler from the Garfield County Libraries, “Lisa’s Linguistic Librarians in Waiting” placed third, with Amy Tonozzi, Tracy Kallassy and Carolyn McCann as spellers. 

Roasting the competition for first place costumes was Jon Banks and KMTS teammates Sabrina Whitehouse and Coya Lindberg, all dressed as dragons.

Merlin (Bruce Leland) and Sir Spellsalot (Steve Shute) directed the spelling bee as Lords of the Land.
Teams came dressed and ready for the Royal Spelling Bee at the Hotel Colorado.
Cassandra Ballard/ Post Independent
Ariel Whitehouse helps out at the Spellebration as her mom Sabrina Whitehouse goes for the win.
Cassandra Ballard/ Post Independent
The Queen of Hearts (Brisa Morales) strikes a power pose near the throne.
Cassandra Ballard/ Post Independent
Teams compete at the Spellebration at the Hotel Colorado.
Cassandra Ballard/ Post Independent

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