Crowning of Oyster Festival Queen set for Nov. 6
The selection of the Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen is a long-standing tradition that dates back to 1960, the year before Urbanna Days became the Urbanna Oyster Festival. The first queen was crowned on a flatbed trailer on the day of the festival.
The tradition of crowning a Little Miss Spat along with the Queen began in 1966.
As the Oyster Festival evolved over the years, so has the selection of the Queen and Little Miss Spat. It originally was a type of beauty pageant, but is now a scholarship competition for the Queen contestants, who also must complete a community service project.
The Queen competition starts early in the summer and extends until the crowning takes place on Friday of the Oyster Festival.
The crowning of the Queen at the upcoming 52nd Urbanna Oyster Festival will take place on Friday, November 6, at 4 p.m. at Taber Park on Rappahannock Avenue. The Oyster Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, November 6-7.
The Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen Scholarship Competition awards scholarships to the top three Queen finishers and Miss Congeniality.
The scholarships are available through the generosity of local sponsors—BB&T Bank, Bethpage Camp-Resort, Bon Se-cours Richmond Health System, Bristow-Faulkner Funeral Home, C&F Bank, Colonial Virginia Bank, Dr. Ben Lennon, EVB Bank, Gloucester Pharmacy, Grey’s Point Camp, Rappahannock Concrete Corporation, Rosegill LLC, and Thurston Properties.
The bonds for the Little Miss Spat competition are available through the generosity of Ryman’s A/C & Heating and The Pet Castle.
The 2009 Urbanna Oyster Festival sponsors include BB&T Bank, Bon Secours, C&F Bank, EVB Bank, GEICO, Kathleen M. Hall CPA, Rappahannock General Hospital, Revere Gas and Appliance, Rosegill Development LLC, The Allen Group Inc., and the Virginia Lottery.
The Southside Sentinel continues to profile two Queen contestants and their Little Miss Spat contestants each week. Each Queen contestant wrote a press release on her project and background.
As in the past, Queen contestants must be a high school senior and a resident of Middlesex County. Each Queen contestant selects a girl in the first grade to compete as her Little Miss Spat. (A “spat” is a baby oyster.) The Little Miss Spat finalists are selected independently of the Queen.
The judges are not residents of Middlesex County.
This year’s Queen contestants, in alphabetical order, and their Little Miss Spat hopefuls include: Lindsey Ballantyne and Natalie Cutler, Amanda Blake and Jenna Ancell, JaLisa Carter and Airiana Beverley, Sarah Daniel and Janie Allen, Susan Dunaway and Kaelyn Sibley, Cydney Fisher and RuthAnne Key, Maggie Hall and Laura Walton, Catherine Harris and Katie Brooke, Susan Heyman and Ariyana Jackson, Stephanie Hutton and Emma Gresham, Kendall McNamee and Sara Paige Murray, Libbie Randolph and Brooke Brohawn, Micah Reed and Laila Dixon, and Katherine Wood and Ellie McMinn. Madeline Hurd also is participating as a Little Miss Spat contestant.
Kendall McNamee, a senior at Middlesex High School, volunteered at the Middlesex Food Bank and also organized various events to help raise money for the food bank.
“After hearing about the food bank, it made me wonder what I could do to help. That’s when I decided I wanted to hold events that would involve the community and benefit the food bank,” Kendall said.
For one part of her project, Kendall decorated boxes that were used to collect canned goods and non-perishable items. Kendall placed the donation boxes at Deltaville Market, Deltaville Pool, Deltaville Library and the Middlesex YMCA.
For the second part of her project, Kendall held a hand-print decorating day at the Deltaville Pool. “It was a great way to bring the community together and see the excitement in the children’s eyes as they were able to leave their mark.”
The hand-prints decorated the concession stand wall at the pool and each cost a $1 donation. “I was able to raise over $150 for the food bank, and have over 50 children and adults come together for a great cause,” she said.
Kendall also spent time seeking donations at the annual Crab Feast in Deltaville. There she was able to raise $173, her biggest single contribution to the food bank.
For part three of her project, Kendall held a family fun night at the Dragon Run Inn. This event included performances by the Joyful Noise Zoar Church Band from Deltaville and the No Strings Attached Puppeteers from Urbanna Baptist Church. “Having the band from Deltaville and the puppet team from Urbanna was a great way to have both ends of the county to come together to support the food bank,” she said.
Overall, Kendall was able to raise over 300 canned goods and $550 for the Middlesex Food Bank. “I enjoyed helping out at the food bank. Being able to see a person smile and be so thankful for a box containing meats, bread and fresh fruit, no matter their current situation, made me realize that material things do not matter. It also made me realize the true difference between ‘wants and needs,’ ” she said.
Kendall is involved in many clubs and organizations at MHS, such as, the Future Business Leaders of America, the Student Government Association, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Key Club, and as treasurer of the National Honor Society.
Kendall is a four-year member of the MHS yearbook staff. She is currently the business manager, a position she has held all four years.
She has played volleyball and softball, and plans on trying out for basketball and track teams this year. As a sophomore, Kendall was captain of the junior varsity softball team.
Kendall is currently employed at the Middlesex YMCA where she works with the children in both the after school program and child watch. During the summer she is a lifeguard at the Ricky Taylor Memorial Community Swimming Pool in Deltaville.
After high school, Kendall plans to attend a four-year college in Virginia to study biomedical sciences in hopes of becoming a pediatric oncology nurse.
She is the daughter of Kevin and Dianne McNamee of Hartfield, and the granddaughter of Donald and Patricia McNamee of Hartfield, and Robert and Jean Bailey of Richmond. She has two siblings, Lauren and Kyle.
Kendall’s Little Miss Spat is Sara Paige Murray, a first-grader at Middlesex Elementary School. Sara is the daughter of Paul and Karen Murray of Hardyville, and the granddaughter of William and Carolyn Morris of Mathews, Spencer Murray of Franktown, and Janet Murray of Richmond. She is also the great-granddaughter of Ethel Gormus of Deltaville. She has one sibling, a brother named Jackson.
Sara is a fourth-year member in Miss Linda’s School of Dance. She is also active in gymnastics and swimming. She has a love for dogs and the color pink. She enjoys reading anything by Junie B. Jones.
Maggie Hall, a senior at Middlesex High School, chose a beautification project to make the high school a lovelier place. She chose this particular project because she is involved heavily in high school activities and wanted to improve its outside appearance for not only herself and fellow and future students and staff, but also for the many visitors attending sporting and club events.
To raise funds for mulch, paint and other supplies, Maggie created a booklet on Middlesex County with facts and activities. Hall’s Little Miss Spat contestant, Laura Walton, helped by designing the cover. These booklets were distributed to businesses with donation boxes and almost $900 in donations and supplies were raised.
For her project, she started by weeding and trimming bushes, mulching several gardens around the campus, picking up trash, power-washing part of the building, painting the backstop of the softball fence, and painting trash cans.
Maggie worked with the new principal at the high school and the school board. Other volunteers, including Laura, assisted Maggie in the beautification project. Principal Castle even organized a clean-up day at MHS where many parents, teachers and students showed up to help.
“It was really rewarding to know others had interest and pride in the school and wanted to help too,” said Maggie. “The clean-up day was successful in many ways. I am so happy to know we have a community where people still want to volunteer and help. That, to me, made my whole project worth it.
“I understand now the work and effort it takes to keep our school grounds looking their best and I definitely learned the meaning of time management skills in balancing volunteer work with other school obligations and work,” she said. Earlier in the summer, Maggie was the assistant coach of the Orioles T-ball team.
Maggie has always loved having a volunteer role. She has been with the Kiwanis Club since 4th grade and has been president of K-Kids, Builders Club and is currently president of the MHS Key Club. She is president of Future Educators of America Association and also is enrolled in the Teachers for Tomorrow class. She has been actively involved in the Student Government Association as an officer each year, and is currently the reporter. She has participated in Future Business Leaders of America club, and also in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club. She was chosen to attend Virginia Girls State, a week-long leadership program at Longwood College, this past summer. She is currently in the gifted program at MHS and is a member of both the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.
Maggie has been a cheerleader, and is captain of the MHS volleyball and softball teams. She has been named to the district’s All-Academic Team each year. She also was chosen to be in the homecoming court in 2006.
After graduation, Hall would like to attend college to pursue a teaching career.
She is a member of Urbanna Baptist Church and has attended youth group summer camps. She currently works at J&W Seafood.
Maggie enjoys spending time on the water, fishing, sports, travel, shopping, and spending time with family and friends. She is the daughter of Patty and Craig Hall of Urbanna. Maggie is the sister of Landron Hall, and Bobby and Lauren Pollicino. She is the granddaughter of Francis and Ada Marie Hall of Urbanna, and Robert and June Baranek of College Park, Md.
Her Little Miss Spat contestant, Laura Walton, is the daughter of Brian and Angela Walton of Urbanna, and granddaughter of Tony and Peggy Walton of Urbanna and Garland and Diane Harrow of Deltaville. Laura is a first-grade student at Middlesex Elementary and enjoys swimming and spending time with her two older sisters.