It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since my journey as the 76th Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival Queen began. My crowning moment is one that I will never forget.
I remember feeling so excited, but mostly shocked as my name was called and my new beautiful crown was placed on my head. I couldn’t believe that my dream of being able to represent this festival, city and people that I’ve grown so close to, had actually come true. The pageant was absolutely wonderful and the ball was a blast.
It was so special to have some of my best friends in the pageant and ball with me. All of the girls in the court were so friendly and supportive. I’m glad I was able to share this unforgettable experience with them.
My festival weekend may have been a little dampened by tropical storm Lee, but as my king, Mr. David Naquin, kept reminding me throughout the weekend, “We won’t let it rain on our reign.”
Although the storm canceled some of our traditional festivities, such as the Blessing of the Fleet and Mass in Lawrence Park, our unyielding festival continued on. There was still great attendance and despite weather conditions, our festival remained a success as always.
Mr. David and I enjoyed visiting with the vendors and guests who came out to enjoy our festival. I would like to thank all of you for your support and dedication to our festival, it means so much.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve attended and loved this festival. It was truly a dream come true getting to attend last year as its queen. Despite the storm, I wore my crown and shrimp boots with pride as I got to participate in the festival like never before.
Opening the festival with the ribbon cutting and taking the first ferris wheel ride along with Mr. David, court members, children royalty, and board members was truly memorable. I also felt special while visiting the local elementary schools where the children thought I was a “real princess.”
I enjoyed spending the day with a few visiting queens and court members while we toured the Mr. Charlie, visited the festival grounds, and ate delicious shrimp at the shrimp boil.
I can’t thank Mr. David enough for making my weekend as special as possible even under the weather conditions; he went above and beyond to make it great by keeping everyone laughing, helping me get over my fear of interviews and public speaking, and even throwing us an additional shrimp boil and non-traditional Blessing of the Fleet toast. I am so glad I was able to share my reign with him.
The sun finally joined in on our parade as we rolled through the streets of Morgan City and the fireworks were a perfect way to end our special weekend with a bang! I had so much fun and am so honored to have had the opportunity to spend the weekend with everyone as the 76th queen.
As my festival weekend came to a close, my role as advocate of the festival began.
I’ve travelled to many pageants and festivals throughout the year, congratulating newly crowned royalty and viewing Louisiana through a queen’s eyes all while promoting our festival. Some pageants I’ve attended are the Louisiana Cattle Festival Pageant, Louisiana Sugar Cane Pageant, Delcambre Shrimp Festival Pageant, Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Pageant, Louisiana Crawfish Pageant and many others.
I also traveled to several festivals and queens’ day events such as the Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival where they honored the shrimp industry this year, and the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival where I won the strawberry picking contest. I went speckled trout fishing in Plaquemines Parish during the Plaquemines Seafood Festival. I attempted shooting skeet in Gueydan at the Gueydan Duck Festival Queens day events; had a blast at the Greater New Orleans Floral Trail Festival where I toured and shopped in New Orleans and then handed out flowers to many guests at the coronation.
I competed in a mock pageant as Betsy Gump and took pictures with the biggest gumbo pot in the world at the Bridge City Gumbo Festival. I also attended the Swamp Pop Music Festival where I danced to the Cajun music and helped to raise awareness for cystic fibrosis. I went crawfishing in the crawfish ponds of Breaux Bridge and ate delicious boiled crawfish at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, competed in a spaghetti eating contest at the Sicilian Festival, toured the beautiful plantation and grounds of the Oak Alley Plantation at the St. James Sugar Cane Pageant, attended the Orange Ball and travelled to many other festivals and pageants throughout Louisiana.
I represented the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival at the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals’ Convention, participating in the weekend’s events. I also had the honor of travelling to Washington, D.C., to the Mystick Krewe of Louisianans’ Mardi Gras celebration.
“As the 76th queen, I have made friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. This experience has given me so many opportunities and allowed me to meet several remarkable people. I wish I could do it all over again!
I want to thank the Shrimp and Petroleum Board of Directors for giving me this opportunity and trusting in me to uphold this special honor. I feel so privileged to have been able to represent the people of Morgan City, Berwick and Patterson, and the Shrimp and Petroleum Festival. I can’t wait to proudly fly my Queen Flag every year during the festival weekend.
It’s very bittersweet that my reign is coming to an end but I know it’s time for another very lucky girl to get to experience the best year of her life.
To my successor who will be crowned on Saturday, “Take this title and don’t hold back. You are about to embark on one of the best years of your life, so enjoy it to the fullest. Go to every event you possibly can and make as many memories as possible. Always remember to keep the Tri-City area and its people and hospitality in your heart and be proud to call this place your hometown. Know that we have so much to be proud of here and that our oldest chartered harvest festival is truly the best festival there is.
“Wear your crown with pride and always know that your actions will always be a reflection on our festival. This year will be over before you know it so have your camera, smile and scrapbooking skills ready because the memories you’re about to make will definitely be ones you won’t want to forget.”