Mary Paige Linder was crowned queen of the 75th East Texas Yamboree and officially elevated to that unique title at the climax of the Queen’s Coronation-Pageant, held Wednesday and Thursday nights at the Gilmer Civic Center.
The 2012 president, Richard Wayne Holloway, did the honors as her royal courtiers looked on from the stage and large audiences enjoyed the spectacle.
The Wonderful Years was the pageant theme, reflecting back to each decade during the history of the East Texas Yamboree.
After the queen ascended the steps to stand with her Ladies-in-Waiting, she was serenaded by David Ham, who sang The Way You Look Tonight.
The queen’s ornate gown of shimmering ivory was embossed by off-white blossoms and lavishly encrusted with sequin scrolling, with matching train attached.
The queen’s escort was Jackson David McQueen.
Bearer of the Royal Scepter was Princess Grace Marion Cates, who presented the scepter to the queen as she was introduced and promenaded around the stage.
She wore a gown matching the queen’s gown.
Ladies and Lords of the Royal Court were:
Keepers of Friendship, Bailey Kay Rode, Patton Baird Rode;
Keepers of Peace, Payton Lee Haley, Hudson Grant Loyd;
Keepers of Trust, Caroline Baird “Carly” Winn, Cullen Foster Finney;
Keepers of Honor, Christian Alexander Allen, Nicholas Nathanial Allen;
Keeper of Joy, Katelyn Grace Perryman;
Keepers of Light, Madisyn May Bedair, Samuel Edwin Herrmann Felipe;
Keepers of Hope, Jayna Ruth Clemens, Ceslie Lynn Barnes, Hailey Elizabeth Teddy;
Keepers of Laughter, Averi Clair Davis, Haylie Ann Warrick;
Keepers of Love, Madeline Jane Winn, Hudson Garrett Winn;
Keepers of Faith, Sophia Ann Dean, Jerry Mack Dean II, John Henry Gilow;
Keepers of Grace, Alayna Nicole Teddy, Carlee Claire Townsend;
The Keepers of Blessings, Both Present and Yet to come, Asa Edward Cates, Thomas Eli Cates, Lily Grace Childress, Bailey Rae Childress.
Keeper of the Queen’s Guardian Angel, Madyson Elise Grobe.
The Queen’s Guardian Angel, Kennedi Rose Burks;
Royal Scribes to the Queen, Allyson Katherine Phillips, Jacob Hunter Davidson, Michaela Renee Ellis, William David Allen;
Royal Guards of the Queen, Cash Robert Young, Clint Aaron Sorrells, Dalton Clay Gunby, Mikel Jalan Wells, Justin Ray Vestal, Jonathon Andrew Grady English.
In his accustomed place as on-stage narrator, Stephen Edward Dean drew attention to the brief essay, The Wonderful Years, written by Melinda Smith:
“From humble beginnings, a tradition grew, uniting a community as each year it began anew.
“An unexpected bond arose through this singular event, a homecoming of sorts; joining generations of family and friends.
“Every October that passes brings restored revelry, full of laughter, love and unforgettable memories.
“We fondly recount days full of merriment and pageantry, we celebrate it as our foundation; it is our shared history . . .”
Dean introduced the 74th Yamboree Queen, Drew Henson-Hill, who, wearing her coronation gown, entered the door below stage left, progressed up the aisle and across the back to the south aisle and ascended to the stage.
She was met there by Immediate Past President Randy Hill.
David Ham serenaded the 2010 queen with Unforgettable.
Visiting duchesses for the evening were presented at the opening of the pageant, as they entered the auditorium and promenaded on stage.
As each decade was introduced, Dean read the names of the Yamboree Queens and Presidents and the year they served.
Tribute was paid to the 30s — the Birth of the Yamboree.
The 1930s and 1940s were represented by Lady Jasmin Danyale of the House of Jones, duchess of the Iris Garden Club. Miss Jones was escorted by Johnny Rigoberto Perez.
Her dress was of sparkling apricot, featuring a silver sequined cross in the back. A band of glittering rhinestones accented the bottom of the bodice, where a full train was attached. Wide rhinestone straps completed the bodice.
Duchesses in her court were Carson Mackenzie Woodruff, duchess of Union Grove High School, “Historical Pageant”; Aly Cathryn Curtis, Spring Hill High School, “Swingtime”; and Kamri Brook Peek, Pittsburg, “The Cruise of the Goodship Yamboree.”
Entertainment was Big Band Swing, presented by Court Dancers Emily Buettner, Bayley LeGrand, Cecily Massey, Melina Prince, Lauren Jones, Taylor Mobley, Rebecca Hudson, Madeline Jones, Claire Forrester and Maddison Evans.
The dancers wore full skirted red and white polka dot dresses with large white satin collars, and a wide white satin belt fasted with a large buckle in front. White net petticoats peeked from under the skirts.
The 1950s were represented by Lady Chelsey Lyn Alexander of the House of Alexander, duchess of the Lions Club. Miss Alexander was escorted by James Woodrow Brady English.
Lady Chelsey’s dress of deep blue featured a matching train attached at the back waistline, with a large “A” embossed in sparkling sequins, with silver sequin embellishments scattered over the rest of the train.
The bodice was covered with royal blue sequins.
Duchesses in Lady Chelsey’s court were Casey Bramblitt, duchess of Eustace High School, representing “Fictional Fantasy”; Jennifer Leigh Lewis, duchess of Union Hill High School, “Court of Stars”; Hannah Lynn South, duchess of Big Sandy High School, “Fairyland”; and Morgan Alexandra Baldwin, duchess of White Oak High School, “The Glory.”
Entertainment featured 50s Rhythm Nation by court dancers Emily Buettner, Melani Williams, Catherine Williams, Makayla Sikes, Brooke Davis, Shaylee Fennell, Karlie White, Sassy Meadows, Blake Rice, Jaidon Parrish, Dillon Keeling, Jed Dean, Dylan Adkinson, Tanner Bean, Cody Stansbury, Mitch Lange and Collin Ross.
Representing the 1960s was Lady Emily Paige of the House of Chevalier, representing Beta Sigma Phi. She was escorted by William Slade Morris.
Miss Anna Frances Verleen, duchess of the Big Sandy Chamber of Commerce, represented “Festival of Fashion”; Kaitlin Renee Camp, duchess of Harleton High School presented “Design for Living”; and Katie Lynn Kerwin, duchess of Harmony High School, presented “Music Magic.”
Court dancers dancing to Fever were Mickey Mostyn, Kylie Corbin, Alana Tillery, Allison Taff, Yadira Munioz, Sydnee Steelman, Elissa Irvin, Zaneta Ray, Amber Ballard, Bailey Howell, Kayla Clemens, Macy Elms, Cady Mulkey, Grace Farrow, and Kaitlyn Dugger.
Their outfits were in bright red, with red feather edging around the gathered skirt. They wore black gloves, red feather bow in their hair, and carried a black walking stick.
The 1970s era was represented by Lady Angel Michelle of the House of Yochum, duchess of the Gilmer Kiwanis Club. Miss Yochum was escorted by Dylan Brian Bowman.
Her dress was of bright pink satin, accented with silver sequins. A large “Y” accented the beautiful matching train.
Miss Kailon Elizabeth Culberson, duchess of the Gilmer Area Chamber of Commerce, represented “An Enchanted Evening”; Jordan LeAnn Roberts, duchess of Ore City High School, “Our Legacy, Our Land”; Chelsey Denvoria Nelson, duchess of Trinity School of Texas, “Our American Heritage”; and Kaitlyn Rene Stoner, duchess of Kilgore High School, “Carnivals of the World.”
Court Dancers, dancing to Aquarius, wore bright yellow jackets with gold metallic polka dots, over white shorts. Long white fringe accented the top. They wore shiny white boots.
They included Chelbi Hendrix, Lorie Henry, McKenzie Castro, Sophia Steelman, Katyn Curtis, Hannah Wisdom, Brianna Esquivel, Kaylee Fyffe, Brianna Parker, Logan Parish, Alyssa Troell, Catherine Wilson, Evelyn Felipe, Lillie Jenkins, Allie Fennell, Madison Dean, Jaci Traylor and Morgan Henson.
Lady Kayla Nicole of the House of Smith, portraying the 1980’s, was escorted by Connor Scott Hewitt as she took the stage.
Her dress was of deep purple, with a full skirt gathered into swagged panels. Sequins adorned the train and bodice, and a panel down the front of the full skirt. Wide ruffles of the same fabric edged the train.
Duchesses in her court were Kaitlyn Makenzie Holyfield, duchess of Mabank, who represented “Salute to Broadway”; Kaylee Marcella Loeza, duchess of New Diana School, who represented “Fantasy Voyage”; Kourtney Brianne Holyfield, duchess of Mabank High School, presented “Reminiscence”; and Leslie Ann Rowe, duchess of Gladewater Chamber of Commerce, portraying “And the Winners Are.”
Court dancers, dancing to One, were Danielle Cullum, Sinoury Lindsey, Kara Smith, Kellie Tucker, Brooklyn Dyer, Chloe Atchley, Ansley Jackson, Demi West, Alexa Silver, Haley Blackstone, Nicole Vineyard, Paige Williams, Becca Grimes, Maggie Low, Addison Coleman and Bella Fields.
Court Dancers wore black outfits with panels of gold sequin drapes covering it. They wore black gloves and gold top hats.
Princess Shelby Denise of the House of Hutto, duchess of the Rotary Club, represented The 1990’s. Princess Shelby was escorted by Brandon Scott Glenn.
Members of her court were Kaitlin Danielle Johnston, duchess of Gilmer High School, portraying “Reign of Reflections”; Angel A. Jordan, duchess of Pine Tree High School, portraying “A Moment in Time”; and Katelyn Alissabeth Phillips, duchess of Gladewater High School, portraying “Celebrate the Millennium.”
Court dancers Carly Harston, Sugar Stone, Diamond Fluellen, Louren Thompson, Jaden Green, Peyton Carter, Samantha Hammonds, Morgan Long, Whitney Till, Alysa Curtis, Keeley Chamberlain, Savanna Jenkins, Taylor Morris, Taylor Montgomery and Hannah Hallman danced to 90’s Jam.
They wore cheerleader uniforms featuring black tights and hot pink skirts. Their black and white “cheerleader shoes” were accented by white knee socks with hot pink stripes.
Members of the Pageant Committee were Linda Kay Dean, Betty Finney, and Barbara Williams, assisted by Mary Helen Despain, Brett Williams, Abby Stewart, Becky Skinner, Joe Lynn Tillery, Dian and Mike Melton, Dennis Despain and Nat Harrison.
The Queen’s sponsoring club was the Bluebonnet Literary Club; Queen’s Parents, John and Blane Linder; Queen’s Advisor, Brittany Blane Linder; Queen’s Personal Attendants, Karen Finney, Karen Ellis; and Queen’s Designer, Richard Brooks, Kay Arrington; Queen’s Dressmaker, Kay Arrington.
The Queen’s Hairdressers were Lauren Burks and Loren Bliss; Queen’s Court Hairdresser, Jaime Tennison; Queen’s Court Dressmakers, Paula Davidson, Sue Warrick, Kay Arrington; and Queen’s Court Tuxedos, Rebecca’s Accents.
Coordinators for Court Children were Irma Williams, Mary Jane Ham, Kim Garmon, Alisyn Bedair, Brittany Linder, Alyssa Rowe, Brianne Donaho, and Kate Bailey.
In charge of the Past President and Queen’s Reception were Nan Fowler, Mary Jane Ham, Tracy Williams, Abby Stewart, Mary Jo Holloway and Tori Frazier; Queen’s Coffee, Becky Skinner; Queen’s Ball, Shane and Lucy Winn; Queen’s Parade Float, Dennis, Mary Helen, Ann Marie and Mary Carol Despain; All Service Club Luncheon, Abby Stewart; Visiting Duchess Coordinator, Carolyn Duke.
Members of the production staff included Melinda Smith, script; Carla Harrison, Footlights Center of Performing Arts, dance choreography and modeling coordinator; Tracy Williams, script typist; Brian Williams, production engineer; Jody Pearson, Lufkin, sound; TMF Concert Lighting, West Monroe, La., Derrick Gentry, lighting; Photos by Ruel, photography; Encore Multimedia of Longview, video; Past Presidents and Rotary Club members, ushers; Bridget Fowler, Civic Center manager; Joan Small and Janice Hargrove, Gilmer Area Chamber of Commerce; and Dr. Marcy Ragland, pre-coronation entertainment.
Ray Glen Culberson was first vice president in charge of the coronation.