Peanut Fest queen chosenPublished 9:36pm Thursday, September 27, 2012
It’s a good thing Michaela Jones already had planned to attend Peanut Fest, because she was named the 2012 Peanut Queen during the Queen’s Luncheon on Thursday.
“I love everything about Peanut Fest,” the First Baptist Christian School senior said. “I’m there every day it’s open.”
Jones’ love of Peanut Fest was cultivated by her grandmother, Shirley Bradshaw, who was a member of the Moose Lodge and worked the organization’s booth at the festival.
“She was there from opening to closing,” Jones said.
Though her grandmother died two years ago, Jones’ love for the celebration hasn’t ceased. She’s a member of the Goober Gang, a group of teens who hand out peanuts at the festival.
Jones also is involved in Beta Club, National Honor Society, cheerleading and church groups. She was homecoming princess and has volunteered in a range of groups and programs, including for the Salvation Army, OBX Ministries and Taste of Suffolk.
“It’s a huge honor for me,” she said. “I was really shocked when I got it.”
The Queen’s Luncheon, which is produced by the Pilot Club of Suffolk as a fundraiser, is the official kickoff of Peanut Festival activities. They will continue on Saturday with a parade along West Washington and Main streets in downtown, beginning at 10 a.m.
The queen’s court also includes Octavia Gould and Laura Smith from King’s Fork High School; Brittany Brooks and Sierra Leickert from Lakeland High School; Rachel Childs and Christyna Mencarini from Nansemond River High School; Meghan Babb and Janet Ehmer from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy; and Janna Williams from First Baptist Christian School.
The queen and her court will participate in several official Peanut Fest activities, including the parade and the peanut butter sculpture contest that occurs during the festival.
Peanut Fest Chairman Joe Patterson officially welcomed each of Thursday’s guests to the festival.
“I encourage each of you to join the fun and excitement of the Peanut Fest,” he said.
Gail Pruden, the mistress of ceremonies for the event, said the festival is about love as well as the harvest.
“The love of the community is really what brings us all here today,” she said.