Heather Roussel crowned 2019 Andouille Queen: Mallory Waguespack crowned Teen Queen

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, October 9, 2019

LAPLACE — Heather Roussel wants to spotlight food and craft vendors on social media to entice visitors to come to the Andouille Festival. She wants to see the passion and excitement return for the iconic community event that has always been close to her heart.

Roussel was recently crowned 2019 Andouille Queen at the Andouille Festival Pageant, held Saturday at St. John Theatre in Reserve. It isn’t her first time wearing the crown, however. As former Teen Queen and Sugar Queen, Roussel has been a St. John the Baptist Parish ambassador for quite some time, representing the region’s famous Andouille and sugar industries at fairs and festivals around Louisiana.

“I’m from St. John Parish, and I’ve been involved in pageants for so many years now,” Roussel said. “I was actually teen Andouille back in 2012. I finally decided to come back. It’s my last chance to be the Andouille Queen, and I just wanted to go all in for it.”

Roussel is excited to forge new friendships with queens across Louisiana alongside Teen Andouille Queen Mallory Waguespack, who was also crowned Saturday night in Reserve during the “Under the Big Top” circus-themed extravaganza.

Waguespack was also awarded the People’s Choice and Fashion awards during Saturday’s pageant. She’s a 15-year-old sophomore at the St. John STEM Magnet program, where she is studying digital design. A skilled competition dancer, Waguespack enjoys teaching children how to dance and

Mallory Waguespack receives her 2019 Teen Andouille crown and a bouquet of roses from Parish President Natalie Robottom.

practicing hair and makeup. She sees a future as a cosmetologist.

Roussel, 22, is graduating from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a degree in nursing. Ten years from now, she sees herself happy in her career working in the neonatal intensive care unit.

For the next year, however, Roussel and Waguespack will be tasked with representing St. John Parish as the Andouille Capital of the World. They will preside over the 46th Annual Andouille Festival Oct. 18-20 at Thomas F. Daley Memorial Park in LaPlace.

Other Miss contestants included Sadie Kelly, Erica Berthelot, Tabitha Tregre and Elizabeth Joi Scioneaux.

Tregre received the People’s Choice award Saturday night. She is an 18-year-old recent graduate of Riverside Academy, where she participated in Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, trivia club and other extracurricular activities. Tregre is now a freshman at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University in Baton Rouge studying radiation therapy.

Berthelot received the congeniality award, selected by her fellow contestants to recognize her brilliant personality. Berthelot, 21, participates in many outreach events at Twin Oaks nursing home. St. John Theatre is one of her passions, and she’s spent 10 plus years participating in summer musicals on stage, backstage and in the concessions stand. In the future, she hopes to climb the ladder in the hospitality industry and continue to teach others that, “The only person stopping you from getting on stage is you.”

Second runner-up was Sadie Kelly, a 20-year-old junior at Southeastern Louisiana University studying English education. Kelly has a variety of talents from theater (she recently played Rizzo in Grease) to playing the piano and ukulele. In the future, she hopes to return to her alma mater, St. Charles Catholic, and teach ELA to the next generation of students.

First runner-up was Elizabeth Joi Scioneaux, who also won the photogenic award. Scioneaux, 23, received a degree in accounting from the University of New Orleans. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree, and she wants to inspire others by teaching them that integrity matters.

Heather Roussel is overwhelmed with emotion immediately after being crowned the 2019 Andouille Queen Saturday at St. John Theatre in Reserve.

Other Teen Queen contestants included Layken Epperly, Sophia Cruz, Janai Bernard and Rylee Moore.

First runner-up Janai Bernard was also awarded the congeniality award by her fellow contestants. Bernard is an 11th grader at the St. John STEM Magnet program. In addition to participating in Beta, softball and basketball, she is an emerging entrepreneur who braids hair. She hopes to become a registered nurse and one day own a beauty salon.

Cruz is a 13-year old middle school student at Riverside Academy in Reserve. She was chosen to reign on the homecoming court, and she is always up for a challenge. She would like to open a cosmetology shop in the future.

Epperly, 15, is a sophomore honors student at Riverside Academy. She plays volleyball for her school and enjoys English language arts. In 15 years, she sees herself married with two dogs, practicing law.

Moore received the People’s Choice Award and second runner-up in the teen division. Moore, a 14-year-old freshman at Riverside Academy, plays soccer and wants to work in sports medicine. She has an adventurous personality.

Outgoing Miss and Teen Andouille Queens Mandi Lee Sweeney and Jenna Necaise tearfully said goodbye to their crowns Saturday and reflected on a year well-spent before crowning the new queens.