Madelynn Whitehurst was crowned the Quitman Dogwood Pageant Queen in front of a full house at Carroll Green Civic Center Friday night.
Whitehurst not only claimed the queen’s crown and sash, but she also sold the tickets in the oldest age group (high school juniors) category.
Hallee Hightower was runner-up in the Junior Miss (sixth and seventh grade) category. Rhiana Bradshaw was named Junior Miss Dogwood. Kallie Hoover was runner-up and BreAnna Gilbreath sold the most tickets. In the Little Miss (kindergarten through second grade), winner was Aubrie Davis, who also won the Allie Baker Memorial Award. Ava Coventry was named the runner-up and Audrina Gist sold the most tickets. The Ally Baker Memorial Award was presented to “give to one little girl who comes out of her shell in this who process,” said Allie’s mom, Lindsey Baker, and it was presented to Aubrey Davis. She was given a $100 Justice gift card.
Ticket sales winners won $50. Miss Dogwood won a $1,000, and runner-up $500. Junior Miss won $25. Little Miss Dogwood won $100.
The theme for the event hosted by the Quitman Chamber of Commerce, “A Night Under the Sea,” was depicted with imaginative water blue and seafoam green decorations. The audience was encouraged to look under their seats and several people came up with gift certificates from Dairy Queen, Speakeasy Coffee House and Seth’s Lake Fork Creek Steak and Seafood.
Master of Ceremonies Joe Reynolds talked about the history of the pageant in the town, noting that his mother had taken part in it when she was in high school in 1968. Last year the event took a hiatus. “This is something that has been going on for a long time. And it is something that we need to encourage to keep going on in our community,” Reynolds said to applause. This year’s event had 18 contestants.
Judges for the events were Tenae and David Shelton of Pittsburg.