By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

LOVELADY – The month of February is in full swing, and for many residents of the Lovelady area, that means one thing – Lovefest!

The 36th annual event is slated to kick off Thursday, Feb. 8 with the Lovefest Queen’s coronation taking place at 7 p.m. in the Lovelady High School gym.

Six young ladies were selected by their peers last month to represent grades seven through 12 at Lovelady ISD during the coronation, along with escorts of their own choosing. Those in grades nine through 12 are in the running for the title of 2018 Lovefest Queen. The contestants are judged on an essay they submit and a speech they present to the LLISD student body prior to the coronation.

This year’s queen will be crowned by the reigning Lovefest Queen, Lovelady High School Junior Haley Pitts.

The 2018 Lovefest Court is as follows.

  • Senior princess Hannah Burleson and escort Alex McKnight
  • Junior princess Olivia Wilson and escort James Cousins
  • Sophomore princess Chloe Harris and escort Logan LeBlanc
  • Freshman princess Erin Sample and escort Lane Kellar
  • Eighth-grade princess Skylie Brant and escort Bryce Russo
  • Seventh-grade princess Morgan Womack and escort Levi Musick
  • Flower girl Penelope Ramirez and crown bearer Brody Smith

Following the crowning of the 2018 Lovefest Queen, Lovelady Elementary School students will take the floor to serenade the new queen and her court with musical presentations.

Tickets for the coronation may be purchased at the door on the night of the event at a cost of $4 per adult and $2 per student. Children under the age of four, as well as elementary school students performing during the show, will be admitted free of charge.

For more information on the event, contact Carol Monk or Lisa Allen at 936-636-7636.

The festivities will continue Saturday, Feb. 10 with the fourth annual baking contest sponsored by the Weldon Civic Club.

According to contest coordinator Sherry Leggett, all contestants must pay an entry fee of $5 and should arrive at the Lovelady Community Center with their entries no later than 9 a.m. Saturday.

“We have two divisions – adult and children,” explained Leggett. “Children is 12 and under, and adult is above the age of 12.”

Contestants in the children’s division can choose to enter either a cake or cookies, while adults can choose from bundt cakes, cookies, iced cakes and pies.

“We give prizes first through third, and usually, we give cooking products (such as) utensils,” Leggett said. “We give a cash prize for the grand prize winner in each division.”

Judging for the contest begins at 11 a.m. All baked goods entered are then sold to raise funds for scholarships provided to graduating Lovelady High School seniors.

Individuals interested in entering the contest may pick up an application at Lovelady State Bank and Broxson Hardware.

For more information, contact Leggett at (936)-636-7026.

Local culinary enthusiasts whose area of specialty is a grill rather than an oven will be showing off their skills during the annual Lovefest Bar-B-Que, Chili & Pinto Bean Cooking Cook-off, which will be held Friday, Feb. 9 and Saturday, Feb. 10 outside the Lovelady Old Gym.

According to contest coordinator Mike Broxson, contest categories include beans, brisket, chicken, chili and ribs. Judging begins at noon and typically continues until 4 p.m.

Cash prizes are awarded to the first, second, and third-place winners in each category. A $200 showmanship award will also be presented.

“We have a cook’s meeting on Friday night, and we actually have a Calcutta Friday night, where we auction off those teams,” Broxson said.

Tickets for door prizes will also be sold by the Lovelady Masonic Lodge No. 539, which sponsors the cook-off each year.

For more information on the cook-off, contact Broxson at (936)-636-7337.

Also scheduled for Saturday is the annual Lovefest parade – which, according to parade coordinator Tammy Cousins – holds the same ‘Super’ theme as the overall event.

“Anything super – superheros, super hearts, super anything,” Cousins said, listing possible themes for parade floats.

According to Cousins, county political figures or groups or individuals interested in entering floats or antique cars in the parade are encouraged to arrive early on the day of the event. The parade begins at 10 a.m., but lineup typically starts as early as 6:45 a.m.

While there is no deadline to sign up for the parade, interested participants are encouraged to notify Cousins before the morning of the parade. In addition to cars and floats, horses and motorcycles are welcome to participate, and candy may be thrown to parade viewers.

Cousins estimated that last year’s parade lasted between one and a half hours and two hours. The route runs from the Lovelady State Bank to Lovelady High School. Highway 19 is closed throughout the duration of the parade.
While previous parades have been grand marshaled by one individual, this year’s event will see several individuals teaming up for that role. According to Cousins, between 10 and 15 individuals will be sharing grand marshal duties.

“It’s super,” she said of the increased amount. “We’re going with the theme.”
Cousins also mentioned that the Lovelady Booster Club will be selling chances to win a golf cart, which will be making an appearance in the parade.
“They’re $20 a pop,” she explained. “We will have the drawing sometime in May.”
Cousins said that only 1,000 chances to win the golf cart will be sold.

The annual Lovefest dance is slated to begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10 in the Lovelady Old Gym. Entertainment will be provided by the Who’s Drivin’ Band.
Admission to the dance will be $20 per couple and $15 per single person. Children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult and will be allowed in for $5. A $10 charge will apply to all coolers. No glass containers will be permitted.

More information on the dance may be obtained by calling Lawanna Monk at 936-546-4054.

The tiny royal counterparts of the 2018 Lovefest Queen will be named during the annual Baby Beauty Contest scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 10 in the Lovelady First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.

While the judging will begin at 10 a.m., contest coordinator JoAnn Henry said that participants also interested in watching the parade may come to the church at its conclusion.

Henry explained that boy and girl contestants will be judged separately in the age categories of 0-6 months, 7-12 months, 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds.

First, second, and third-place trophies will be awarded in each category. The highest-scoring boy and girl overall will be awarded the titles of Little Mr. and Miss Lovefest.

“The trophies will be given on the bandstand located in the city park at 1 p.m.,” Henry said.

Henry said all contestant information should be submitted by Thursday, Feb. 8. Contestants who are unable to meet the deadline may be granted the opportunity to register at the door on the day of the event at the discretion of the contest coordinators.

Henry stressed the importance of entry forms including the gender of the contestant.

“If it’s Morgan something, we don’t know if Morgan is a boy or a girl,” she pointed out.

In addition, parents must provide their child’s address, age, date of birth, name and telephone number. An entry fee of $15 is required of all participants.

Checks should be made payable to Lovelady FUMC and may be sent to Mary Allen at P.O. Box 87 Lovelady, TX 75851.

For more information on the contest, call Allen at 936-636-7372 or Henry at 936-624-6407.

Sarah Naron may be reached via email at snaron@messenger-news.com.