Lemoine to relinquish festival crown

Cypress Sawmill Festival Miss Queen Rachel Lemoine
--Submitted photo

Editor’s Note: The following statement is by Cypress Sawmill Festival Queen Rachel Lemoine. The Patterson Cypress Sawmill Festival is being held today through Sunday at Kemper Williams Park near Patterson. Lemoine will relinquish her reign on Sunday.
“It is with a heavy heart and a great deal of pride that I bid my farewell as the 20th Patterson Cypress Sawmill Festival Queen to my amazing community today. As people always say, ‘it feels like only yesterday’ I was making sure I knew all of the history necessary as well as making sure I had a confident feeling in the heels I bought strictly for this pageant added on to many days of training all to make sure that my good friend Jessica placed the most beautiful crown I had ever seen on my head that Saturday night.
“Now this may seem greedy some, so allow me to explain. I was so dedicated to this goal I may have seemed to come off to some people as over-confident considering how much time and effort I put into a few months in order to become queen. I can assure you that I have never thought more highly of myself than any other individual on the earth. I only had sort of a sense that ‘If I am not the queen this year, I will never be the queen,’ only because I wanted to focus on school in the future, and I’m not sure if I would have been able to juggle it all. I know now that it was God and my father pushing me to do this pageant the time that I did because had I not have competed last year, I honestly would not have been queen and that had nothing to do with school.
“This town and festival mean so much to me that I could never put into words exactly how much. This is why I had to ‘sell’ my festival to so many people across the state in a very short 15-second introduction. History has always been my least favorite subject in school, but I will gladly tell you everything you would ever like to know about my festival if ever you cared to know. And that should tell you something.
“Traveling around the state this year has been an amazing journey and I am so blessed to have been able to do so. Being a queen may seem odd to many people and I can assure you that I was one of those people just a few years ago. That all changed when I decided to compete to be the queen of the festival that I can remember going to with my parents and family for as long as I can remember.
“Not only did I get to walk in kings’ and queens’ formal balls and galas wearing the amazing train and mantle, be recognized by mayor after mayor of different cities and towns across the state, introduce myself at different pageants from north Louisiana all the way back to Morgan City, but there were also many moments that were so much fun I will never be able to forget the year that I’ve had even if I tried.
“How many people can say that they have stuffed 13 kumquats in their mouth winning third place in the competition at the Plaquemine’s Parish Orange Fair and Festival, or that they climbed on top of mountains of real, raw Louisiana sugar at the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival, or won first place in the crawfish eating contest at the Louisiana Crawfish Festival all while wearing a crown, banner and quite possibly shrimper boots? Or say they were Elvis for the entire costume night at the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals Queen of Queens competition?
“This journey I’ve had this past year has been nonetheless amazing and I would have never been able to complete every event I made it to, and over 6,000 miles throughout the year, without the love and support of my festival board, pageant director, family and friends, my amazing mother, my father watching over me, and of course: God.
“I could go on for days telling about all of the wonderful memories and friends I’ve acquired this past year, but I certainly could never fit so many recollections into the few words that I have. The only thing that I can tell you that it is of absolute importance that everyone comes out this weekend to my festival and enjoy it with friends and family. And make sure to say that the queen sent you!
“Thank you so many people from around the area for loving me and supporting me all year long! It has been an honor to serve!
“Proudly representing the oldest manufacturing industry in Louisiana: the lumber industry, the cypress capital of the world, and the very first “Who Dat!” I am your Miss Patterson Cypress Sawmill Festival Queen 20: Rachel Michelle Lemoine. Thank you, God bless, Geaux Tigers, and I hope to see you this weekend!”

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

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