This year welcomes the 44th Annual Pike County Dogwood Festival April 24-27. As a part of the traditional programming of the event, the crowning of the Dogwood Festival Queen will kick off the celebrations at 6 p.m. on the 24. The judging panel will also announce the winners of the junior versions, Little Miss and Little Master, following the crowning of the Queen.
Applicants for the festival must be between the ages of 15-19. The judges will look at merit and community service in crowning a winning queen. Miss Dogwood will represent the entire festival and Pike County at surrounding events in the upcoming year.
The Little Miss and Little Master contests are for all Pike County students between the ages of five and six. The winning students will also visit local festivals with the Dogwood Queen.
Brandi Davis is the vice president of the Dogwood Festival. Davis also organizes the 5k race, the Queen’s Contest and Little Miss and Little Master. Outside of the Dogwood Festival, Davis works in law enforcement.
“It is important because the Queen will be the face of the entire festival and will represent us at other festivals,” Davis said. “It is exciting for the girls; they get to represent us. The queen will receive a trophy, a very large crown and a personalized sash. The Queen also gets to volunteer in many different capacities while she is in her crown and sash.”
The candidates for Dogwood Festival Queen are Cassidy Wilburn, Allyson Carter and Meghan McJunkin.
Wilburn is the daughter of Wes and Rebecca Wilburn and is a freshman at Ohio University. She attends church and is a member of 4H and Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland, where she has received multiple awards. Wilburn has also volunteered with the American Red Cross, The Piketon County Cookie Rally and Make a Difference Day.
“I had a blast last year, when I was in the Dogwood Court,” Wilburn said. “I made new friends and memories. I loved traveling to the other counties and being in their festivals. I love the feeling of being a role model, it was so uplifting. “
Carter is the daughter of Aaron and Marenda Carter, is a senior at Piketon High School and is enrolled in the Career Technical Center. Carter’s activities include being a Skills U.S.A. contestant, a member of the Piketon Girl’s Power Lifting Team, a candidate for the National Honor Society and is a certified phlebotomy technician.
“It would be a great experience to meet new people and to represent the Pike County Dogwood Festival,” Carter said.
McJunkin is the daughter of Mike and Jackie McJunkin and is a senior at Piketon High School. She participates in broadcasting, art shows, prom committee, varsity volleyball, varsity softball, student council, Spanish club, history club, National Honor Society and is the senior class secretary. McJunkin also volunteers for Mix it up Day, Volley for a Cure, Operation Christmas Child, MRDD prom, Relay 4-Life and the Red Cross Blood Drive.
“I consider myself a good role model for young girls. I believe I set a good example because I am optimistic and a very likable person,” McJunkin said, “I participate in various school activities as well as take part in the community. Becoming the Dogwood Festival Queen would bring a great amount of joy to me and my family.”
More information on the Dogwood Festival, and for a schedule of events, visit www.pikecountydogwoodfestival.com.
“I just like to volunteer and make the festival grow,” Davis said. “I’d really like to get the festival back to where it was when it was an old heritage festival, focused on arts and crafts. I think we are on our way to being that again.”
Joseph Pratt can be contacted at Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.