Twenty-four young ladies from around the Rio Grande Valley come together to represent their communities namesake, product, and the citrus industry as they compete to become citrus royalty, Queen Citriana.

Kaylee Silva represented the City of Palmview and the Royal Palm Tree as the Duchess of Royal Palms on Jan. 23. Kaylee was announced as the 84th Queen Citriana for the Texas Citrus Fiesta.

In the 2021 coronation, Kaylee will take on the duties of representing the area’s business, industry, and community hope which will remain hers until the following years’ coronation.

“The Texas Citrus Fiesta was established in 1932 to help promote the citrus industry in the Rio Grande Valley, the main purpose of the Texas Citrus Fiesta, is basically just spreading awareness and advocating for our citrus industry, because our citrus industry is at risk of completely ending, and being completely destroyed,”  Kaylee said.

The honor of being future Queen Citriana is elevated by being the first representative from Palmview to take the crown. The city of Palmview established Feb. 5 as Kaylee Silva day to commemorate their pride.

“I feel very proud to be from the City of Palmview like I didn’t only try to win this title for myself, I tried to win it for the city,” said Kaylee, “that was my main goal, basically making history for the city of Palmview.”

As Queen Citriana, Kaylee’s duties will consist of advocating and spreading awareness of the citrus industry throughout the State of Texas. As well as making individuals knowledgeable on the importance of the sector, and being a role model to younger generations.

“To get the title of Queen Citriana, you need to be knowledgeable on the Texas citrus industry and the Texas Citrus Fiesta not only that but the product that you represent,” said Kaylee, “it’s about being knowledgeable and being smart and having brains; beauty and brains.”

Kaylee plans to attend Texas A&M University in Kingsville, where she hopes to collaborate with researchers to save the Texas citrus industry. Establishing an organization to advocate for the citrus industry in her school all fall in line with her future goals.

“Being named Queen Citriana symbolizes my hard work and dedication, and to me it means being a role model for my community and being a representation of my family, because of my family I have accomplished so much, especially gaining this title,” said Kaylee.

Leann Lopez is a 16 year old Junior enrolled in Jimmy Carter Early College High School. Leann is the daughter of Ruby and Jacinto Lopez. She has three siblings, one older sister Kristian, a younger sister Marla, and a little brother Jacinto. Leann takes an agriculture class her first period at Palmview High School, which she is the current Palmview FFA Vice President for the year. She has served as an officer for the past 3 years since her freshman year as Reporter, and her sophomore year as chapter President. Leann as well was recently newly appointed as the Citrus Valley District FFA Secretary and chapter Vice-President. She competes in various competitions throughout the year with FFA and show pigs, this year she plans to take on a new challenge and will be showing a heifer for the first time. Leann's goal for the year is to prosper this junior year by getting good grades in her classes and doing any means necessary to achieve her goal. Such as studying, taken extra credit, turning in assignments on time, and going to tutoring if needed.