By Courtney Hockenbery
2007-08 Ox Roast Queen
“Time flies when you’re having fun” is something I learned firsthand as the 2007-08 Miss Ox Roast queen. I want to say how awesome it was to represent West Jefferson for a full year. Being the Ox Roast queen is a huge commitment and a big responsibility. While I had big shoes to fill from last year’s queen, I think I filled them well.
Only being 16, I was among the youngest Miss Queens. The queens from other festivals never treated me like I was too young and really made me feel welcome. I met so many great people; I can definitely say I made some lifelong friends.
Being involved in the Ox Roast queens pageant has really taught me a lot. From the contest to the festivals we travel to, I have had to get on stage and talk in front of lots of people. I now enjoy public speaking.
I also learned the importance of goal setting and the art of perseverance. The first year I entered the pageant was 2001, and I was chosen for the Little Miss Ox Roast court. I was really disappointed when I didn’t win, but that night I made a goal for myself to win queen in each category. In 2002, I was crowned as Little Miss Ox Roast. I moved into the Junior category in 2003 and was the first attendant for two years in a row. When I entered the contest in 2005, I was worried because that was my last chance to win queen in the Junior category. I did it! I finally reached my goal last year when I was crowned as the 2007-08 Ox Roast queen. I am really glad I kept trying.
My duties as the queen started the day after I was crowned with the famous lighting of the pit to roast the Ox Roast meat. I also attended the kiddie tractor pull and the baby contest. Although I was crowned on a Saturday, I never had down time until the festival was over. The next weekend was the Wellston Coal Festival; this was the first parade I attended, and I met Kasey from the First Town Days Festival. Kasey was crowned before me and welcomed me with open arms to the “festival family.”
At the Jackson Apple Festival, I met Jourdan, Samie and Ashley, who are some of my favorite girls to be around. Jourdan and I got very close since she is the same age as me.
My favorite festival was First Town Days in New Philadelphia. I love going there because it is pretty and because of Judy Miller. She is the queens’ chaperone for that festival and one of the nicest ladies I have ever met.
Liz Lynch, last year’s Miss Ox Roast, and I have traveled together often and she is great. Liz is by far the most outgoing person I have ever met.
The day I was crowned, I met Kristin Mitchell from the Parade of the Hills Festival in Nelsonville. We hit it off at the next festival. Jim Shumway, her chaperone, is the best guy ever and has the sweetest car.
Molly French is another girl I’m really glad I met. At one parade, she and I just sat and talked forever.
There are so many people I need to thank who helped me this year. First, I want to thank the judges for picking me. I also want to thank Hunt’s Jewelry for donating my charm bracelet, which is very full at this point. I want to give a big thank-you to Buckeye Ford for loaning my mom convertibles to ride in for parades. I also want to thank Peters Photography who gave me a free photo session. Next, I want to thank the West Jefferson Community Association for supporting me in my endeavors.
I want to thank my mom who has bought me every dress I have and supported me through this whole year. I lover her very much. I also would like to thank Lisa Dulin for storing and pulling our float. Lastly, I would like to thank Donna Warner who took me to over 15 festivals. I will miss getting to go places with her every weekend.
I have enjoyed my year as queen and will really miss everyone and everything about this experience. I was proud to represent our community and our festival around Ohio. I have made some great friends and memories that will last a lifetime.