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Five seek crown of Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen

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 Festival Queen was crowned on a flatbed trailer on the day of the festival.

The tradition of crowning an Urbanna Festival Queen and Little Miss Spat began in 1966.

As the Oyster Festival evolved over the years, so has the selection process for the Queen and Little Miss Spat. It originally was a type of beauty pageant, but is now a scholarship competition for the Queen contestants. The judging is based on a community service project, grade point average, a judges’ interview, a written response to a random question, and overall participation.

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 55th Urbanna Oyster Festival will take place on Friday, November 2, at 4 p.m. at Taber Park on Rappahannock Avenue. The Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen Scholarship Competition awards scholarships to the top three Queen finishers.

The Oyster Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, November 2-3.

The five Festival Queen contestants and their Little Miss Spat contestants are Rachel Crews and Skylar Andersen; Allison Payne and Mason Welsh; Kelly Revere and Bailey Fairheart; Brooke Rowe and McKinsey Walker; and Jordan Walton and Chelsey Holmes.

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 and are judged based on their participation at an ice cream social, a judges’ interview, overall participation, and written response to a question, which they also illustrate.

The judges are not residents of Middlesex County.

posted 10.30.2012

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