2015 Maple Queen Court Chosen

The 2015 Maple Festival activities officially began Saturday, February 28th, with the Maple Queen Pageant at the high school in Monterey. 8 local young ladies vied for the opportunity to represent the festival and Highland County as Queen.

The judges chose first time participant Allison Stump for the honor. Her court was completed by 1st runner-up Suzanna Landrum and 2nd runner-up Patricia Lindsay. The court visited the WVLS studio last week, to talk about themselves, and their plans and expectations for the festival.

“I’m Allison Stump, I’m 15 years old, I’m a sophomore at Highland High School, and my parents are Greg and Becky Stump. I’m pretty excited – I’m excited to meet new people. I think it’s going to be cool to meet the visitors and tourists, and see what they think of it. And I’m excited about the food.”

“My name is Suzanna Blue Landrum, I’m a senior at Highland High School – my parents are Crysta Stephenson and Roger Landrum. I really look forward to meeting new people, and learning new ways of making maple syrup.

Ms. Landrum is the only upperclassman from the trio, and talked about her plans after graduation.

“I plan to study equine science – first off is Blue Ridge Community College, for the transfer program.”

“My name is Patricia Lindsay, I’m 16 years old, I’m a sophomore at Highland High School, and my parents are Crystal Lindsay and Joey Judy. I’m looking forward to meeting all the new people, at the Maple Festival, and getting a chance to tell them all my experiences in Highland – and my favorite part will probably be – eating the doughnuts.”

Robin Warner, director of the pageant, talked about how the contestants prepare for the contest, and the duties of the court once they are chosen.

“Once the girls sign up, we get together with them – we practice as much as they want to practice, whenever we can, around the snow and school closings,  and things like that, to get them ready, to be able to speak in front of everybody, and to talk to the judges, when they get interviewed.”

“During the Maple Festival, both weekends we go around to all four corners of the county. We start out having breakfast at one of the Ruritans. We just tour all over the county, we go to all of the sugar camps. The girls meet and greet the visitors. They eat a lot of maple everything, and I just keep them busy, pretty much from breakfast until we get done in the evenings. And basically, go all around the county, and try to go to each of the businesses at least once, because they are the ones that supported the pageant and the girls with their donations.”

Their duties do not end once the festival is over.

“There’s several parades that they will attend. They give out the ribbons at the horse show, at the fair. The past few years, they have been helping out with the Fire Queen Contest. And anything that anybody in the county would like them to be representing. They are basically the ambassadors for the Highland Chamber, and that’s just what they do – to promote the county.”

Be sure to visit the Highland County Maple Festival this weekend and for your chance to meet and greet the 2015 court as you enjoy all the great food, crafts and fun.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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