Lovefest Crowns New Queen

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

LOVELADY – It was wall-to-wall parking and a gym filled to capacity as Lovelady Independent School District (LISD) and most of the Lovelady community came out to see the talented kids singing and dancing and of course, to see the 2024 Lovefest royal court, in all their splendor. 

The gym was alive with excitement as the younger kids filed into their seats. Amidst elementary kids with cowboy hats and spit-polished boots, there were suits and even bow ties for the young men. The young girls dazzled in their fancy gowns, high heels, with not a hair out of place. This is Lovelady’s big weekend, their calling card to the greater world and the kids and their parents all knew it, no doubt taking more time than usual picking out clothes, shoes and making sure the kids knew the prepared songs by heart. 

The first step, though, was to present the princesses and their escorts and crown a new queen – you can’t have a royal show with real royal to watch it. 

Shawna Merchant and Addison Pitts were the emcees for the night

Shawna Merchant and Addison Pitts were the emcees for the night, who, like the old talk show hosts of long ago, went through the program and their jokes with glee. First out would be the Crown Bearer Cody Easton and Flower Girl Tylie Adair, who brought their own young energy to the proceedings. 

Crown Bearer Cody Easton and Flower Girl Tylie Adair

The new Lovelady athletic building was inaugurated only recently and was decorated with balloons and places for the princesses and escorts, with the multi-use floor carefully covered – those formal shoes can leave nasty scuff marks on that shiny floor.

Seventh grade was represented by Princess Hydee Huse and her Escort Levi Wilson. Eighth grade gave the court Chloe McMahon and Brody McMillan. 

Princess Hydee Huse and her Escort Levi Wilson
Princess Chloe McMahon and Escort Brody McMillan

The high school group came next, beginning with Freshmen Kynnedi Reynolds and Isaiah Chaisson, Sophomores Avery Huffstuttler and Aiden Gearheart. 

Princess The high school group came next, beginning with Freshmen Kynnedi Reynolds and Escort Isaiah Chaisson
Princess Avery Huffstuttler and Escort Aiden Gearheart

Junior Princess A’nyya Mitchell was escorted by Kye Terry, while Senior Princess Kyah Terry joined Escort Jacob Sherman for the royal walk to the main stage. 

Princess A’nyya Mitchell and Escort Kye Terry
Princess Kyah Terry and Escort Jacob Sherman

2023 Lovefest Queen was on hand to relinquish her crown to the 2024 Queen, A’nyya Mitchell. With heartfelt congratulations and hugs, the new queen and her escort took their places as the performance began in earnest. 

Young Billy McMillan sang his heart out, to the tune of “Kiss An Angel Good Morning,” the classic by Charlie Pride. 

Aria Hill, Taighlyn Schubert sang “Heart Like a Drum,” with Quade McLaughlin joining on the drums. 

The pre-K and kindergarten kids danced, sang and twisted their way to the rock-n-roll classic, “Rock Around the Clock,” before Serenity McDaniel, Jentry Williamson, Kyleigh Hart and Kaliegh Sloan sang “The Mom Song.”

The traditional country hit “Forever and Ever, Amen,” by Randy Travis was expertly sang by LISD third and fourth graders, before the whole group of first through fourth grade sang, “1,000 Years.”

A clean version of “Seven Years Old” was sung by the first and second graders, before the performances ended with “Dancing in the Sky,” by first and second graders and “Reckless Love,” sang by several students. 

Lovefest itself will begin Saturday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m., although some predicted rain necessitated the cancelling of at least one float. 

That rain won’t scare away the hundreds of people who will line the streets of Lovelady to watch the parade, before setting out to visit the many vendors, compete in one of the several contests or try some of the home cooked food – all staples of another year’s Lovefest. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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