Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Anna Monica / L’Observateur / July 26, 2000

St. James Has New Parish Queens

St. James Parish has a new Miss St. James and a new Miss Teen St. James.It all happened Saturday night in the Lutcher High School auditorium. Itseems like just yesterday that my editor, Sandy, asked me to cover the pageant for 1999, but once again I found myself totally wrapped up in this charming, well planned and executed program for the year 2000.

This event seems to be quite a big one in St. James Parish, and just as Idescribed last year it was so very well carried out in a most elegant way this year. In fact, the theme of the pageant was “Return to Elegance,”beautifully portrayed by the stage setting and by the contestants.

Community pride in this event is evident each year because of the filled- to-capacity auditorium and the participation of parish officials and leading business establishments, such as Colonial Sugars. Each dignitary,sponsor and contributor were introduced and appropriately applauded.

First, all the contestants appeared onstage in a cute dance number in tuxedo-like clothing. Then, Petty Pollet, parish director, formally openedthe festivities and introduced master and mistress of ceremonies, Seth Bourgeois and Ashley Nassar, a former Miss St. James. Crissy Michel, 1999Miss Teen St. James, and Holly Murry, 1999 Miss St. James, appeared inantebellum dresses to introduce the program and spoke of the plantations along the river.

This was the 49th annual pageant for St. James Parish. The young ladiesfirst appeared attired in more casual dress that portrayed their personalities and then appeared in evening gowns. I found the gowns to beso very striking and elegant and the girls looked so very lovely that I could be thankful to not be a judge.

I really, really like the way this pageant is conducted. It kind of bringseveryone together. Statements made by the contestants as to why theybelieved they could be the best representatives of their parish were outstanding. I was also impressed by their mature thinking. In a worldwhere teens don’t get much credit for the good they do, these young ladies really make you want to stand up and applaud. They spoke of their rich andunique heritage, of wanting to be role models for other young people, of the uniqueness of the parish and of their pride in the history of their sugar cane-producing history.

Amy Marlbrough of Paulina, named second maid in the Teen Contest, impressed me by quoting from her father to “be what you want to see.” Amy wanted to see “kindness, loving and caring in the world.” Heidi Kilburn of Lutcher, granddaughter of Garyville’s Faye and Farrel Kilburn, struck me in saying that her favorite color is “all the primary colors because you can make whatever your heart desires.” Also among the teens, Angela Nassar of Convent won for congeniality; Lyndi Martin of Paulina was the most photogenic and third maid; Jennie Louque of Paulina got the fashion award; and Trista Sieber of Paulina was fourth maid. Fifteen-year-old Stacey Roussel of Hester won the top awardof Miss Teen St. James.In the Miss St. James division, Lindsay Hymel of Vacherie, an LSU student,could hardly handle all her prizes as she was named queen and received the most photogenic and fashion awards, as well. Nicholls student KandisSchexnayder of St. James received the congeniality award; AshleyDeslatte of Lutcher and LSU was second maid; and Theresa Martin of Lutcher, also an LSU student, was first maid. Theresa spoke warmly of herparish as “a place for long conversations on the back porch and knowing who lives down the street.” There were more than 40 visiting queens at this pageant, a most impressive number. Our local queens included Cheney Landry, the St.Charles Parish Festival Queen; Lori Roussel, Louisiana Sugar Queen LVIII, and her sister, Hallie Roussel, Miss Sweet; Shannon Hinton, St. John SugarQueen; Lauren LeBlanc, Jr. Miss Riverside; Libby Taylor, Teen Miss Festivalof the Bonfires; Tia Jackson, Miss Lutcher High School; Candice Denoux, St.

Charles Festival Teen Queen IV; Toni Detillier, Miss Festival of the Bonfires; Heidi Roussel, West St. James Farm Bureau Queen; ShanaLuminais, Gumbo Queen; Amber Waguespack, St. John Andouille Teen Queen;and Amelia Williams, Mrs. St. John Andouille Queen.If I missed any local queens’ names, I apologize. I borrowed a paper fromMrs. Murry to copy, but it was dark in the auditorium.Back to Top

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