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Longtime Festival emcee Harvey Hudson Jr. dies

by Larry S. Chowning

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Harvey Hudson was a special guest at the 2007 Oyster Festival. He co-hosted the Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen crowning ceremony and is shown above interviewing Little Miss Spat contestant Riley Ann Howe.  (Photo by Tom Chillemi)
Veteran Richmond broadcaster and longtime Urbanna Oyster Festival Pageant emcee Harvey Lee Hudson Jr. died Sunday in a Richmond hospital at the age of 88.

Hudson emceed the Urbanna Oyster Festival pageant in the old Rappanna Theater building on Virginia Street in Urbanna throughout the 1970s.

Betty Page Bristow, a former co-chair of the festival pageant, said Hudson started his stint as a pageant emcee in 1970. “He stayed overnight and we would provide him with a room and meals,” she said.  “He was very good at covering up a whole lot of the behind-the-scenes action when we weren’t ready.

“He had many friends around Urbanna and in the county,” she said.  “He knew Doc (Thomas F.) Marshall (Sr.) very well and he would always tell a joke on stage on Doc. He was very witty and kept the audience’s attention.

“We always enjoyed having him and he was a great addition to the festival,” said Bristow. “He will be missed by everyone who knew him.”

In the 25th anniversary edition of the Oyster Festival program in 1982, it stated, “General Manager of WLEE in Richmond, Harvey Hudson, has entertained with his wit and expertise as Master of Ceremonies, and Urbanna considers him an adopted son on pageant night.”

For his longtime service to the festival, Hudson was honored in 1998 when he was named grand marshal of the Urbanna Oyster Festival.

In the Monday, November 2, Richmond Times Dispatch, a front page article on Hudson called him an “icon of radio here in the Richmond area.”

Most recently, he was involved in a weekly radio program titled “Harvey Hudson’s Passing Parade.”

“The thing about Harvey Hudson was that he was so alive and he always had a smile on his face,” said Bristow. “He added a touch of class to our pageant and I think he totally enjoyed being here and being a part of the Oyster Festival.”

At age 86, Hudson made a special appearance at the 2007 Urbanna Oyster Festival in honor of the event’s 50th anniversary. He interviewed Little Miss Spat and Queen contestants on stage and received an award from the Urbanna Oyster Festival Foundation.

Related article:

Harvey Hudson Jr. obituary

posted 11.04.2009

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