FLORENCE -- Kaden Cluff, a senior at Florence High School, is queen of the 89th Florence Junior Parada and Nikey Stewart, a sixth grader at Benjamin Franklin Charter School in Queen Creek, is princess.

Cluff, 17, is a fifth-generation descendant of Charles A. Whitlow, founder of the Junior Parada. She won her first buckle at the Junior Parada at age 8. At school, she’s a multisport athlete and a member of the Student Council, Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society and LINK Crew.

After high school, she wants to study nursing at Brigham Young University in Utah.

Nikey, 11, competes in barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying and is currently learning to rope. Her goal is to one day compete at the National Finals Rodeo. She said she’s inspired the most by Amberley Snyder, a cowgirl who continues to compete in rodeo despite an injury that left her paralyzed.

Nikey’s family owns two rescue horses and a horse saved from the kill pen. Her dream job is to work at a horse rescue and rehabilitate horses. She also enjoys her dogs, goats, pigs and chickens.

Jr Parada Podcast 2021

Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at mcowling@pinalcentral.com.

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