Karlie White wins 'battle of dynasties'
She will reign as 76th Yamboree Queen
by MARY L. KIRBY
Jul 21, 2013 | 2954 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby<br>
QUEEN KARLIE WHITE is pictured with her royal court, from left, Macy Elms, Shaylee Fennell, Princess Melani Williams, Yamboree Association President Ray Culberson, Queen Karlie, Katelynn Meadows, Emily Buettner and Iesha Fluellen. Queen Karlie will reign over the 76th East Texas Yamboree Oct. 16-19.
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
QUEEN KARLIE WHITE is pictured with her royal court, from left, Macy Elms, Shaylee Fennell, Princess Melani Williams, Yamboree Association President Ray Culberson, Queen Karlie, Katelynn Meadows, Emily Buettner and Iesha Fluellen. Queen Karlie will reign over the 76th East Texas Yamboree Oct. 16-19.
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In a contest of dueling legacies, Karlie Carol White won the race and was proclaimed Queen of the 76th East Texas Yamboree by president Raymond Culberson.

Miss White will preside over the coronation on Oct. 16 and 17, with Miss Melani Williams the Princess.

The East Texas Yamboree Association announced that $163,000 was raised, as the seven contestants spread out over Upshur County and surrounding areas selling tickets to the Yamboree Barn Dance, vouchers for tickets to the Coronation, and chips with the Yamboree logo.

Miss White and Miss Williams represent two of the families who have been involved in the Yamboree since its beginnings and have produced numerous queens and presidents who have presided over past celebrations.

They also represent two civic clubs who have had numerous queens represent them over the past, the Twentieth Century Club which has had more queens than any other, and the Bluebonnet Club.

Miss White is the daughter of Kelly and Deana White and her father is a past president (1993).

She is the granddaughter of Kenneth and Raye White of Gilmer, Drew and Earline Daniels of Gilmer, Tommy and Penne Duke of Longview, and the late Carol Ann Cox White, Queen Yam XVII.

Kenneth White presided over the Yamboree in 1969, when Lana Sisson Baird was queen.

Her great-grandfather, Cranfill Cox Jr., served as secretary to the Chamber of Commerce when the Yamboree began in 1935, and participated numerous times as the Mayor/Police Chief/Fire Chief/Queen of Chitlin’ Switch in comic relief in Queen’s Parades in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. He was the designated president for the 1983 Yamboree at the time of his death.

The runner-up, Princess Melani Williams, is the daughter of Eric and Kim Williams and Sherry and Byron Rowls. She is the granddaughter of Steve and Lynn Williams, Mina Faulkner and Louis Hetmer.

Her great-grandfather, Don Williams, is the oldest surviving Yamboree president (1950), and her grandfather Steve Williams was president in 1980, her great-uncle Paul David Williams in 1985, and her cousin Brian Williams in 2004.

On the distaff side, two great-great-aunts, Virginia Williams Roundsafield and Sara Williams Conger, participated in the third Yamboree as members of the Court of Colleges, girls who had graduated prior to 1935 and who came back to join the fun. Another member of the court, Mattie Ruth Stropp, was the future Mrs. Don Williams.

The daughters of Don Williams, Donna Williams Farris and Nancy Williams Sawyer, reigned over the Yamborees of 1967 and 1968, while Paul David’s daughter, Tracy Williams Esquivel, presided in 1992. Their cousin, Stephanie Mayfield Hall, was Queen Yam 38 in 1975, with Byron Spencer her president.

One past queen, Victoria Mitchell Bloyd Frazier, bridges the gap between the two families. She is a blood Williams descendant on her grandmother Mitchell’s side, while she is a step-cousin to the queen. Her son, Chris Bloyd, will be Queen Karlie’s escort.

Other members of Queen Karlie’s court include Miss Emily Ann Buettner, daughter of Tim and Kimberly Buettner, representing the Lions Club; Miss Macy Alexandra Elms, daughter of Eddie and Lynn Elms, the Rotary Club; Miss Shaylee Brooke Fennell, daughter of Dwayne and Ellena Fennell and Beta Sigma Phi representative; Miss Iesha Tatyana Fluellen, daughter of Ike and the late Marion Fluellen, Iris Garden Club representative; and Katelynn Danielle Meadows, daughter of Chris and Ginger Meadows, representing the Kiwanis Club.

The announcement dinner was held at Silver Alley Events. Following the presentation of the queen’s crown pin by president Ray Culberson, the girls of the court, their escorts, parents, and members of the Yamboree Board of Directors shared a dinner of chicken enchiladas, corn and bean salad, chips and salsa.

Decorations of paper flowers and cartwheels of various bright colors added to the festive air.
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