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Buckwheat pageant debuts royalty


“This is not the pageant we imagined four months ago,” Preston County Buckwheat Festival 2020 General Chairman Buddy Turner said Saturday, but together we made it work.

There was still cheers and applause as Gabrielle Ann Wolfe, daughter of Beth Ann and Gary Wolfe of Terra Alta, was named Queen Ceres LXXIX. Ryan Foster Wilson, son of Bob and Carrie Wilson of Gladesville, is King Buckwheat for the 2020 festival.

First maid of honor is Hannah Katherine Shaffer, daughter of Michael and Shelley Shaffer of Kingwood. Second maid of honor is Madeline Blake Chadwell, daughter of Carrie and Walter Chadwell of Bruceton Mills.

The winners were announced Saturday outside the Kingwood Community Building, after a pageant that was closed to the public because of concerns about the coronavirus.

Turner said a decision will be made by July 1 on in what fashion or if the 2020 Buckwheat Festival will be held Sept. 24-27. The only other time a festival was cancelled was during World War II.

“I would like to commend your children, grandchildren and friends for the work they put in. It was exemplary. It showed their ability to overcome adversity and that we have a group of young adults that we are proud of,” Turner told those gathered in the parking lot outside the community building to hear the winners announced.

When her name was called, “I was very excited, but it did not feel real,” Wolfe said. She talked about Preston County pride. “The people of this community are very welcoming,” she said, and come together for things like the festival.

Wilson, whose cousin, Sam Wilson, is a former King Buckwheat, said he was inspired by this year’s festival theme, “Preston County Proud,” to run for king.

“I am proud of being a Prestonian and I would love to be able to represent my community and my county at one of the biggest festivals in the area,” Wilson said.

Senior princesses in the court are: Madison Rachele Jordan, daughter of Debora and Eugene Jordan of Lenox; Margaret Ruth Seese, daughter of Joe and Amanda Seese of Kingwood; Heidi Brooke Gidley, daughter of Dustin and Sunshine Gidley and Misty Starkey of Kingwood; Sahara Dawn Belanger, daughter of Bradley and Heather Belanger of Bruceton Mills; Heather Nicole Myers, daughter of Christy Myers and Darren Myers of Valley Point; Lara Lynn Hayes, daughter of Larry and Chery Hayes of Kingwood; Grace Nicole Moreno, daughter of Tony and Kari Moreno of Kingwood; Elizabeth Renee Friend, daughter
of Andrea Friend and Samuel Friend of Kingwood.

Escorts are Andrew Grant Forman, son of Chip and Tiffany Forman of Albright; Caleb Daniel Shrout, son of Dan and Karen Shrout of Arthurdale.
Junior princesses are:

Aurora School — Hallie Hartsell, daughter of Carroll and Jessica Hartsell, and Hallie Simmons, daughter of Ryan and Amanda Simmons.

Bruceton School — Brooke Snyder, daughter of Dwight and Kim Snyder.

Central Preston Middle — Kirsten Layne, daughter of Henry Layne, and Ella Seese, daughter of Joe and Amanda Seese.

Rowlesburg School — Zoey Raine DeBerry, daughter of Jody and Amber DeBerry, and Macayla Sypolt, daughter of Shavon Friend.

Terra Alta/East Preston — Kendra Nazelrod, daughter of Mathew and Krista Nazelrod, and Kloey Rodeheaver, daughter of Joseph and Tammy Rodeheaver.

South Preston — Deseree Newland, daughter of Anthony Sypolt and Sarah Sypolt, and Maleah Rhodes, daughter of Brent Rhodes and Mary Rhodes.

West Preston — Madison Adams, daughter of Bryan and Lindsay Adams, and Grace Cummings, daughter of Chad and Donna Cummings.
The king’s crown bearer will be Kylie James Wyatt, son of John and Ashley Wyatt. The queen’s crown bearer will be Madison Lea Cook, daughter of Jan Cook II and Carolyn Cook.

The king’s train bearers will be Carter Garbart, son of Scott and Courtney Garbart, and Lane Graham, daughter of Whitney Graham and Josh Dillsworth.

The queen train bearers will be Maeley Laenne Hayes, daughter of Matt and Vanessa Hayes, and Hannah Mae Cartwright, niece of Douglas and Danette Snyder.

Members of the children’s court, all from Kingwood Elementary, are: Grady Richard Bentz, son of Jonathan and Melanie Bentz; Emmalee Garbart, daughter of Brian and Miranda Garbart; Olivia Kelly, daughter of Clinton and Julia Kelly; Elizabeth Layne, daughter of Stephanie Turner and Henry Layne; Zachary E. McNair son of Dr. Jason McNair and Bethany McNair; and Raylee Stanley, daughter of Clint and Chelsea Stanley.