By Kaitlyn Eichelberger
As a little girl, Taylor Holt dreamed of being Queen Ceres of the Preston County Buckwheat Festival, an agriculture fair and carnival held annually in Kingwood. After months of working for the title, Holt has earned the title of Queen Ceres LXXX.
Preston High School senior and Fellowsville native Holt decided to compete for Queen Ceres to share the opportunity with younger generations and act as a role model.
“It seems like every year the [number of] people who go out for [Queen Ceres] just keep getting smaller, and smaller and smaller,” said Holt. “So I wanted to show children that it is still such a great opportunity.”
Holt, who has a speech impediment, wanted children to see that nothing should hold them back from pursuing what they love.
“A bunch of people told me I wouldn’t get Queen Ceres because of my speech impediment,” said Holt. “I wanted to show people not to let a disability hold you back; to still go out and do whatever you want.”
After applying, participating in multiple pageants, interviewing with judges and giving speeches, Holt was chosen as this year’s Queen Ceres.
“This was my first pageant ever,” said Holt. “So honestly, I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t know what to expect. But I enjoyed it so much.”
Since winning the title in April, Holt and King Buckwheat James “Jimmy” Peaslee have participated in 10 parades, attended the State Fair of West Virginia, visited various Preston County schools to speak to students, volunteered for the Food for Preston event and more.
Their next step? The Buckwheat Festival, Thursday through Oct. 2.
The theme for this year’s festival is “80 Years of Memories.” After spending so many years attending the Buckwheat Festival, Holt looks forward to the special memories this year will bring.
“I get to create a ton of memories every year that I cherish forever,” said Holt. “I’m very excited to see what memories I get to create this year.”