Miss Festival of the Bonfires Sydney Poche says farewell

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, November 16, 2016

In 2010, I started my journey of hopefully one day being crowned Teen Miss Festival of the Bonfires.

In 2014, my dream became a reality when I was crowned Teen Miss Festival of the Bonfires XV. Little did I know that my dream would become a reality for the second time.

Being crowned Miss Festival of the Bonfires has always been a hope and a fantasy. Never would I have thought that I would capture this dream and hold such a prestigious title.

This festival and tradition has been in my blood since I was a baby, and being able to represent something that holds such a dear place in my heart is such an honor.

My year as Miss Festival of the Bonfires XXVI has been nothing short of amazing, from eating the sweetest strawberries in Ponchatoula, crawfishing in Breaux Bridge, surviving the smell of Bogalusa, learning how to blow a duck call in Gueydan, eating my body weight in shrimp and witnessing the blessing of the fleet in Morgan City, playing in a rice field in Crowley, tasting the best andouille in St. John Parish, traveling to the tip of the boot for the Orange Ball, to watching one of my sisters in Bridge City.

This year wouldn’t have been possible without the help of so many wonderful people.

Mom and Dad, it is because of you two that I was able to accomplish such a wonderful year. I cannot thank you two enough for keeping our bonfire tradition alive. Thank you for supporting me and for always believing in me. I could not have done this without you two. I love you both so much!

Jade, who would have thought that my childhood baby sitter would eventually become my director and my sister? I am so glad that we were able to bond over this past year. Your love for this festival is so evident, and I’m so glad I was able to share this experience with you.

My year as queen would not have been possible without you. Thank you for always keeping me on my toes and for always keeping me accountable. I can’t thank you enough. I love you.

Ms. Rhonda and the festival board, it is because of all of you that this festival is able to shine bright each and every year. Your dedication and love for this festival is what makes this tradition so special to our parish. Thank you for making my time as queen unforgettable.

This year would not have been possible without all of your hard work. Oh and Ms. Rhonda, I know I said that you couldn’t retire until I won miss, but I lied. You’re not allowed to retire. Especially since you now have those two new knees of yours. I love you.

Amber, our year together has definitely been one to remember. From never having our lives together to always eating, we were meant to be. Thank you for being the best teen queen there is.

I couldn’t have done this year without you. You kept me sane even when we were both falling apart. I cannot explain how much you mean to me. Good luck with the rest of your senior year. If you ever need me, I’m always just a text or a phone call away. I love you always.

The memories that I have made throughout my year will forever be imprinted on my heart. I wouldn’t change this year one bit and I am forever grateful that I was given this opportunity. My love for this festival and tradition is so deep and it will always stay that way. I am so honored to have represented this festival as your Miss Festival of the Bonfires XXVI.

— By Sydney Catherine Poche