By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – The Lovelady Lovefest is less than a month away and Thursday was media day for the 38th annual event held in February.
This year’s court includes: Seniors Carlye Robertson and Jonathan Castillo; Juniors Jacy Stubblefield and Caleb Larkin; Sophomores Katie Thompson and Joshua Gilcrease; and Freshmen Kyle Pugh and Landen LeBlanc.
The 8th grade princess and prince are Holli Seidel and Jacob Sherman while the 7th grade is represented by A’nyya Mitchell and Tristan Bass. Last, but certainly not least, are the little ones representing Pre-K – Stevie Murray and Cohen Bird.
Each of the girls selected from the ninth through 12th grades will be vying for the 2020 title of Lovefest Queen. The contestants are judged on an essay they submit and a speech presented at the school prior to the coronation.
The 38th annual Lovelady Lovefest Coronation is scheduled to take place in the Lovelady High School Gymnasium on Thursday, Feb. 6, beginning at 7:30 pm.
This year’s queen will be crowned by the reigning Lovefest Queen, 2019 Lovelady High School graduate Sarah Thompson.
As to what it would mean to be selected as a Lovefest Queen candidate, senior Carly Robertson said, “I was having a bad day that day. So it was really cool for my classmates to choose me.”
Junior Jacy Stubblefield said, “It is an honor to be able to represent my class, to be held to a higher standard and to run for Lovefest Queen.”
Katie Thompson, representing the sophomore class said, “I always wanted to be Lovefest Queen because I have three older sisters and two of them were queens including last year when my sister Sarah won.”
Representing the freshman class, Kylie Pugh expressed her selection by her classmates “… was an honor. I was surprised. I did not think I would be selected.”
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 Lisa Allen or Tracy Shoemaker at 936-636-7636.
This year’s theme is “Cookin’ Up a Lovefest” and the Lovefest will turn up the heat on Saturday morning, Feb. 8 with the Annual Parade.
Cindy Martinez is in charge of the parade this year and she said the lineup will begin at 8 am at Lovelady State Bank.
“We will start the judging at 9 am and we will start the parade at 10 am. Our grand marshals this year are Boudreaux Campbell and Mike Whatley. We are also adding a new section to the parade this year – the pet parade. If someone wants to bring their pets, they can. They just need to be on a leash and have their rabies vaccination,” she said.
Martinez added they are still looking for more classic cars and motorcycles to fill out the parade.
Lawanna Monk is in charge of the arts and crafts as well as the food booths and she said spaces are going fast.
“The gym is full and the pavilion is mostly full. We are going to put some in the old classrooms which have been renovated. We will probably have 100 plus arts and crafts vendors while we will probably have 10 to 12 food vendors,” she said.
With the 2020 election season in full force, Monk indicated several of the local candidates would be on hand to provide information to prospective voters.
“A lot of vendors – especially those on the inside – will come on Friday to begin their set-ups. Saturday morning they start coming in at 6 am. They have to have their vehicles completely out of the park by nine. Pretty much, the vendors will be open for business at nine or shortly there afterwards,” she said.
Once the vendors wrap up for the day, at approximately four pm, Monk explained, “They will break down as quickly as they can. The band will begin to set up and we will open the doors for the dance at 7 pm.”
The Loose Gravel Band will be performing Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Lovelady Old Gym. Admission is $15 per person or $20 per couple. Children 12 years-of age and under accompanied by an adult will be charged $5. There is also a $10 cooler charge.
For more information on the parade or vendor booths, please email email@example.com.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.