Queen’s banquet coming soon

Published 10:28 pm Friday, September 16, 2016

Ten young ladies will vie for the title of Peanut Queen during the annual Queen’s Banquet on Sept. 29.

The high school seniors, two from each school in Suffolk, will be honored during the banquet, presented by the Pilot Club of Suffolk.

“We’re hoping the girls’ friends and family and the community in general will come out and give them their support,” said Suzanne Langston, who is co-chair of the event along with Lynn Moon.

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The coronation of a queen and her court has been part of Peanut Fest festivities since 1941. Former Miss Americas and models were among the first peanut queens. Olive Cawley of New Jersey, the first Peanut Queen, was attired in an all-peanut gown, and her entourage included 50 princesses from dozens of Virginia communities and neighboring states. The second queen, Patricia Donnelly of Detroit, had been the 1939 Miss America. She was greeted at the airport by dignitaries including Amedeo Obici, the founder of Planters Peanuts, who scattered roasted peanuts at her feet.

Today, the queen is selected from among local high school seniors based on school activities, awards and achievements, community involvement and a creative writing essay.

This year, for the first time, the queen will not be selected until during the event, Langston said. Judges will ask the girls questions on stage and select the peanut queen based on their answers, she said.

This year’s princesses and the schools they represent are:

  • Caitlyn Delosreyes, King’s Fork High School
  • Jacqueline Fowler, Suffolk Christian Academy
  • Caitlyn Hannah, Nansemond Suffolk Academy
  • Savannah Miller, Nansemond River High School
  • Drew Phillips, King’s Fork High School
  • Nicky Pond, Nansemond Suffolk Academy
  • Brianna Ramos, Lakeland High School
  • Cheyenne Schmack, Lakeland High School
  • Vivian Waddel, Suffolk Christian Academy
  • Casey Williams, Nansemond River High School

The event will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, 100 E. Constance Road. It will begin with a silent auction at 6 p.m. The meal starts at 7 p.m. Dr. Deran Whitney, superintendent of Suffolk Public Schools, will be the master of ceremonies.

A number of handmade wreaths will be for sale at the event. Decorative, college, holiday and patriotic themes are available.

“These girls are incredibly accomplished, and it’s really nice to celebrate the excellence these students have in their schools and their communities because they are awesome young ladies,” Langston said.

Proceeds from ticket sales, wreath sales and the silent auction benefit the organizations supported by the Pilot Club of Suffolk.

Tickets will not be sold at the door and must be purchased by Sept. 26. They are $30 each.

Ticket outlets include:

  • Suffolk Visitor Center, 524 N. Main St.
  • D.B. Bowles Jewelers, 1411 N. Main Street
  • Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy, 3219 Bridge Road