The annual Portuguese Festa will take place May 14-15. On May 14, the crowning of senior, junior and mini queens takes place with a linquica and a dance.
Senior Queen: Vera Jacqueline Vaz
My name is Vera Jacqueline Vaz and I am this year’s Portuguese Festa Senior Queen. I am 18 years old and just completed my freshman year of college at the University of Nevada, Reno. I am majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I am also in the Honors College and the BS-MD program (which guarantees me a seat at UNR, School of Medicine after my bachelor’s degree). At UNR, I am on the Executive Board for MedLife and I am a part of ASUN, which is their student government. In the fall, I will be an orientation leader for incoming students. I was born and raised in Fallon where I graduated from Churchill County High School. In high school, I was one of the Co-Valedictorians, the Student Body Vice President, and the President of the National Honor Society. I ran track and played soccer for 4 years. I was also the Northern Region Vice President for Nevada HOSA Future Health Professionals. I enjoy playing the violin, sewing, quilting, crocheting, and volunteering.
My parents are Prima Vaz and late Dr. Apollo Vaz. My dad came to the United States on a scholarship to UNR in 1985 to attain his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and later earned his Medical Degree (M.D.). My Portuguese heritage comes from both my paternal and maternal grandparents. My paternal grandparents, Leandro and Vera Vaz and my maternal grandfather, Marcelino Vaz, were born in Goa, Portuguese India. Goa was an overseas province of Portugal from 1510 to 1961, about 450 years. This is how I am Portuguese. My late dad, Apollo, was the one who encouraged me to join the Portuguese Festa. I have been a part of the Portuguese Festa since I was in the first grade, and I am very excited to be this year’s Portuguese Festa Senior Queen at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Fallon.
Junior Queen: Jordan Thompson
My name’s Jordan Thompson. I’m 14 years old and attend Churchill County Middle School. I’ve been part of the Fallon Portuguese Festa since 2017. My Portuguese heritage comes from my mom’s side of the family. My great-grandpa is Bill Souza. My grandma, Cathy Cardoza, and my aunt Darlene Owners, were both queens in the 80s. My interests and hobbies are painting, drawing, and skateboarding.
Presley Mae Coutinho
Mini Queen: Presley Mae Coutinho
Born June 20, 2016, to Paul Coutinho of Fallon and Vicky Whitaker (Stevens) of Fallon.
Paternal grandparents are Ramiro Jose Borges Soares Coutinho born March 16, 1952 age 70, Santa Maria, Azores, Portugal
Teresa Marie Urbina born August 22, 1952 Fallon Nevada, family defendant from Flores Azores Portugal.
Maternal grandparents are Douglas George Stevens August 21, 1949, - April 16, 1984, of Potsdam, N.Y., Irish decent. Cristita Stevens (Amolar), Dec. 10, 1950, Philippines.
Presley loves feeding her chickens, playing soccer, picking fruit and doing puzzles with her grandpa Coutinho. She loves doing art projects with her grandma Coutinho and building pillow forts at her grandma Stevens.
Being with her older sisters and playing with her nephews and nieces is her favorite. She loves rock hounding, hiking and fishing. Her all-time best friend is Dixie.