UNION COUNTY — This year’s Union County Christmas Parade will be in-person at 2 p.m. on Nov. 21, and Sophia Randazzo will lead as the parade princess. The parade is hosted by Alliance for Children.

Randazzo, a student at Weddington High School, was crowned on Thursday (Nov. 4) at the Shops at Nottingham Plaza Holiday Open House, which continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this weekend. Randazzo was given a $4,000 scholarship from the Alex Kahle Memorial Foundation to go toward the college of her choice. Kahle was a parade princess nominee who died in a tragic car accident days before the judging. Kahle’s friend, Jordan Griffin, announced Randazzo’s name as the winner and Carol Tyson presented her with the crown.

Per information provided by Union County Christmas Parade Communications, Randazzo has been awarded several academic awards, including AP Scholar with Distinction, and National Honor Society. Randazzo is the founder and President of “For the Body, For the Soul,” an initiative that raises awareness for mental and physical health disparities. She is a published playwright, accomplished thespian, and editor of her school newspaper.

Sarah Baldwin, from Cuthbertson High School received the Alex Kahle Spirit Scholarship ($1,000); the scholarship is given to “the young woman who best exhibits the caring spirit of the scholarship’s namesake.”

Candidates were interviewed by a panel of judges on Oct. 28 that included: Jordan Griffin, Alex Kahle Foundation and attorney; Carol Tyson, community leader and business owner; Sheila Crunkleton, community leader and American Red Cross.

“I was so impressed with their composure and with the life experiences these young ladies already have gone through. Our future is in good hands!” Crunkleton said.

Also competing were: Sophia Liles of Parkwood High School, Dana Lheureux of Sun Valley High School, Emilee Batchelor of Central Academy of Technology and Arts, Adina Muratovic of Porter Ridge High School, Gabby Johnsons of Union County Early College, Keniston Mullis of Forest Hills High School, Maria Rodriguez of Monroe High School, Mahita Desaraju of Marvin Ridge High School, Cayden Bell of Piedmont High School, Charlotte Griffin of Union Academy.