Mayor of Albany announces Top 5 Tulip Queen finalists

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s almost time for the city’s Annual Tulip Festival!

Mayor Kathy Sheehan has announced the five “Tulip Queen” finalists. The finalists are Morgan Elizabeth Heyward, Jacueline Murphy, and Eva Petkanas all from Albany, Alex Cronin from Serkirk, and Sarah Williamowski from Guilderland. The five finalists will spend a full year working on community outreach programs as part of the tulip court.

Being crowned tulip queen is an honor many little girls dream of, but it’s also a way to help further education as the crowned queen is granted a $5,000 scholarship and her court 1,500 dollars each. It’s more than the crown or the scholarships though, it’s about the experience.

The finalists for the 67 Annual Albany Tulip Festival have been selected based on community service backgrounds and leadership skills.

Alexandra Cronin, Age 22, Selkirk
Alexandra is currently taking classes at SUNY Albany in hopes of continuing on to physician assistant school. She graduated from SUNY Brockport with a double major in Dance and Exercise Physiology and now works part-time as a personal trainer at Albany Medical Center. Her volunteer experience includes helping to organize Relay for Life events, a dance benefit to honor leukemia patients, and a Christmas toy drive for children at hospitals. In her free time, Alexandra loves to dance and exercise. Her goal as member of the 2015 Tulip Court is to incorporate exercise events in the classroom and community.

Morgan Elizabeth Heyward, Age 18, Albany
Morgan is a freshman at Russell Sage College working towards her degree in Theatre. Her volunteer experience includes tutoring children and working with the Regional Food Bank, the Albany Police Athletic League, soup kitchens and local animal shelters. In her free time, Morgan enjoys reading, writing poetry, acting and working backstage for theater productions. As a member of the 2015 Tulip  Court, her goal is to create an initiative using literature, film and art to support diversity and educate children about other cultures.

Jacqueline Murphy, Age 23, Albany
Jacqueline graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2014 and is now working towards finishing her clinical experience hours in hopes of being accepted to Albany Medical Center’s Physicians Assistant Graduate Program. She has volunteered for the Special Olympics Basketball Clinic, Geneva Living Center, Geneva YMCA and the Happiness House. She loves spending time with her family and playing sports. As a member of the 2015 Tulip Court, Jacqueline hopes to start an educational program that creates awareness about bullying and helps teach young children to make positive life choices.

Eva Petkanas, Age 22, Albany
Eva graduated from SUNY Albany in May 2014 with a degree in Public Policy. Her volunteer experience includes work with the Albany Public Library, Center Square Association, and Aurora Foundation. She enjoys hiking, swimming and going on jogs around Albany to get to know the city better. Eva’s goal as a member of the 2015 Tulip Court is to emphasize fitness while encouraging young learners to read.

Sarah Wilamowski, Age 20, Guilderland
Sarah is a current senior at SUNY Albany who studies Forensic Chemistry. She is an active member of Alpha Phi Omega, a community service organization that participates in several volunteer efforts, including Habitat for Humanity Habitat Restore and highway cleanups. She enjoys spending her time outdoors camping, hiking, swimming, and running, and hopes to complete a marathon within the next few years. Sarah’s goal as a member of the 2015 Tulip Court is to increase writing and literacy skills in local classrooms.

For more information on the Albany Tulip Queen & Court, visit

The 67th Annual Albany Tulip Festival will be held May 9 & 10, 2015. For more festival information call 518.434.2032 or visit

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