KINGWOOD — The Preston High Jr. ROTC opened the Royalty Pageant with the color guard, followed by Tina Strahin singing the “Star Spangled Banner.” Dancers from Sally Ann’s Dance Company entertained the audience and the court.
Next came the senior princesses, dressed in an array of costumes, ranging from a maple tree to a bag of popcorn and a big red shoe. Each told the audience why they should come to the 2018 Buckwheat Festival. Some of the princesses mentioned the parades, others the rides — but all of them talked about the buckwheat cakes and sausage.
Following a 10-minute intermission, the names of the King and Queen of the 77th Annual Buckwheat Festival were announced: Talia Brooke Goodwin and Noah Gregory Thomas.
Participating in the Buckwheat Festival was not a new experience, according to Queen Ceres, Talia Brooke Goodwin. She said she was a trainbearer when she was in first grade. Goodwin, the daughter of Buddy and Tina Turner and Brannon Goodwin of Kingwood said she was excited to be chosen Queen Ceres.
“I am honored to represent the people of Preston County,” she said.
King Buckwheat Noah Gregory Thomas said he was surprised when he was chosen but is looking forward to represent the county. Thomas is the son of Greg and Crystal Thomas of Bruceton Mills.
First runner-up to King Buckwheat was Frankie Glenn Roberts, son of Frank and Dawn Roberts of Terra Alta. Chosen as second runner-up was Thomas James Brammer, son of Michael and Debra Brammer of Aurora.
“This is life changing,” Haley Morgan Livengood, First Maid of Honor to Queen Ceres said. “But I had a blast tonight. It’s an honor to serve.” Livengood is the daughter of Rusty and Wendy Livengood of Bruceton Mills.
Second Maid of Honor, Sydney Marie Davis, is a past volunteer in the Buckwheat Festival kitchen. “I wasn’t expecting this,” she said about being chosen as a Maid of Honor. Davis is the daughter of Scott and Tonda Davis of Arthurdale. “It’s an honor.”
Angela Marrara, Public Relations representative for the Buckwheat Festival, said the Royalty Pageant is a way to bring everyone in the county together. “It celebrates the youth of the county,” she said. “The participants go through a lot to be selected.”
Past junior princess Amber Muter Tichnell said she was proud of her daughter Amelia, who was one of the junior princesses for this year’s pageant. “She looked so elegant. I am proud of her. She held herself with grace and maturity.” Tichnell said she participated in the 50th Annual Buckwheat Festival. “Back when I was a princess we didn’t get to keep our sashes,” she said.
For junior princes Amber, being on stage was exciting. “I was a nervous wreck. I was shaking the whole time,” Tichnell said. “I am happy to be a part of this years Buckwheat Festival. I am proud of everyone who was on the stage with me,” she said.