Queen’s Luncheon tickets now on sale

Published 11:49 pm Saturday, August 22, 2009

In the weeks leading up to the Suffolk Peanut Festival, one of the largest festivals on the East Coast, this year’s Queen’s Luncheon again will again set the perfect stage for what’s to come.

Tickets are just $15 for the annual Queen’s Luncheon and Fashion Show, which takes place Oct. 1 at the National Guard Armory. The event is sponsored by the Suffolk Pilot Club in concert with the Suffolk Peanut Fest.

Attendees will notice that the table décor, along with the detail put into the menu selection, are all courtesy of the charitable Pilot Club. Fashions are compliments of Denison’s and Richardson and Nash.

“As tradition has dictated, we again look forward to a sell-out event,” said Luefras Robinson, publicity coordinator for the event. “This luncheon and fashion show is not only a staple in the Suffolk community, but it puts money back into the community to benefit very worthwhile charitable efforts.”

Since 1941, the peanut festivities have included an array of pageantry and the coronation of a queen and her court. The first “Queen Arachis Hypogea” (the botanical name for the peanut plant), Olive Cawley from New Jersey, was attired in an all-peanut gown, and her entourage included 50 princesses from dozens of communities and neighboring states.

The second festival queen, Patricia Donnelly of Detroit, had been the 1939 Miss America. She was greeted at the airport by dignitaries including Amedeo Obici, for whom the former Obici Hospital was named. Obici scattered roasted peanuts at her feet rather than the traditional rose petals.

The modern predecessor of today’s festival, Harvest Fest, was started in 1978, and the festival queen was chosen by the general public. Since then, the title has been bestowed to scores of young ladies, who represent the festival and the City of Suffolk at numerous functions.

Today’s festival queen is selected from among rising high school seniors that are evaluated by a panel based on four criteria: a creative writing essay; school activities; awards and achievements; and community involvement. The queen and her court are treated to the popular Queen’s Lunch and fashion show by the Pilot Club of Suffolk.

For tickets, call the Suffolk Visitor Center at 757-514-4130.