The annual Portuguese Festa begins Saturday and display three queens.
The event starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Churchill County Fairgrounds multipurpose building 10 a.m. On Sunday, the festival begins at 10 a.m. at West End Elementary School for a parade.
The three queens, meanwhile, are Jordan Lipnicki, Savana Manha and Amber Mello
Lipnicki is the 6-year-old and this year’s Mini Portuguese Festa Queen.
She loves spending time outside and enjoys riding her bike, horse, Rylee, helping on the ranch and playing in the dirt. Getting dirty is what she does best.
Her parents are Jennifer Escobar and David and Sharlee Lipnicki. She is a second-generation Portuguese Queen. Her mother, Jennifer, was the queen in 2002.
Her three aunts, Renee Escobar, Tina Lipnicki and Cyndi Lipnicki, were also queens. Jordan Lipnicki’s grandfather from her mother’s side, Carlos Escobar, was born in Angola, Africa. Her great-grandparents, Augusto and Filomena Escobar, are from Azores and Portugal.
On her father’s side, her grandmother is Melody Gomes Lipnicki. Her great-grandparents are Louis and Nancy Gomes, with many ancestors from Azores and Portugal.
Savanna Manha, daughter of Mark Mahna and Donna Roberts, is an 11-year-old fifth-grade student at Logos Christian Academy and is the Junior Queen.
Her hobbies include softball, volleyball, swimming and wrestling with her brother, Luke. The Mahna family came to the United States in 1917 from the Azores Island of Flores.
They lived in Berkeley, Calif., until 1940 and then moved to Fallon and bought a ranch in Stillwater. Savanna’s great grandparents were Joseph and Emelia Mahna (alias “Vozie”), and they had three children, Maurice Mahna, Lorraine Mahna and Liilian Mahna Webb.
Savanna’s grandfather Maurice had three boys, Mike, Mark and Ed. Savannas grandmother is Jennifer Mahna.
Amber Mello is this year’s Senior Queen. She is 17 and was born on April 8, 1997, to Scott Mello and Kari Martin.
Amber Mello is a junior at Churchill County High School and enjoys spending time with her family, having family dinners, camping or lounging at home. She has fond memories of making and eating homemade Portuguese donuts with the entire family.
Mello volunteers at Bill and Tina’s Flowers several days a week, where she has learned to design arrangements. Upon graduation, Mello plans on earning a degree in American Sign Language studies, and aims to become an interpreter. She also plans to attend floral design school.
Mello’s Portuguese roots are found on both sides of her family. On her dad’s side, Mello’s great-great grandfather, Manuel (Vieirra) Mello, came to the U.S. from Ponte Delgado, San Miguel, in the Azores. His son, her great grandfather, Manuel Mello, was the first generation born in the U.S.. His son, Donald Mello, is my grandfather, and father to her dad, Scott Mello.
On Mello’s mother’s side, her great-great grandparents came from two different places in the Azores. Her great-great grandmother Gladys Silvey was from Pieco, and Mello’s great-great grandfather Joseph Machado came from Saial in the Azores. Their daughter is her great grandmother, Lorraine Marie Machado, who was also the first of that generation born in the U.S. Born to her, was Mello’s nana, Sandy Prouty, and born to her was Mello’s mom, Kari Martin.