Strawberry Festival: Laughter fills Stockham

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Danielle Stockham, 2007 London Strawberry Festival Queen

Hello. My name is Danielle Stockham. I have had the honor and privilege of being the 2007 London Strawberry Festival Queen.

During my reign, I visited more than 62 events. Some were in Madison County while others were more than three hours away. I even visited an event in West Virginia!

 

I enjoyed meeting the other queens and royalty, exploring their towns, and attending luncheons, parades and tours. I traveled in snow, rain and temperatures that reached 112 degrees. I have made friends all over Ohio that I hope to keep in touch with, even after my reign is over.

To pass the crown to the 2008 Strawberry Queen will be an honor. Though it will be sad to give up my title, it will be a good day in that someone else will have the opportunity to experience what I did.  Before I relinquish my title, I would like to give my farewell.

This past year, I have made so many memories. I have gone through many local museums that have cool things in them, like old dentistry drills (ouch!). I have been to festivals where the only place to change was in the car or port-a-potty. Unfortunately, I didn’t always have my cape to keep me from freezing in the fall and winter.  

Other queens and I had a great time trying to ride the graviton, scrambler, and pirate ship in gowns and crowns. I nearly lost my crown more than once! I don’t know how many pictures I took of funny faces and poses with other royalty or friends. When my cousin came with me one weekend, she didn’t realize how much fun it was to get all dressed up, go through a parade or hang out with royalty.

My parents, you have been there through thick and thin. You bought many gowns for me when I wanted one and needed one for the festivals. There were those crazy jumps into the car after cross-country and track meets to make it to a luncheon or parade. (Sorry for those who were around me; I might have been slightly sweaty!)

Thank you, mom, for getting up every Saturday morning to drive me across the state and occasionally getting us lost, especially if we took anyone with us or went north. Thanks for taking a face-plant in the mud after two trucks were stuck in the yard trying to get the float. Dad, thank you for letting me take mom away every weekend and for washing the car when you came with us, even though somehow it got dirty again. I love you both.

To the 2007 Royalty Court, I want to extend my thanks. You make me smile in my heart and on my face. My two attendants, from our first festival together, taking funny pictures until now, we have bonded into friends. My Junior Miss court, thank you for making me wonder how you guys pull off the tricks you do on each other. My Young Miss court, thank you for always showing up in dresses that matched mine, even though we never planned it. My Prince court, thank you for liking queens/girls, but not liking them at the same time. (One day you will like them, trust me.) My Little Miss and Mister courts, thanks for being the ornery kids that made me play Twister or say silly things on stage. Mr. and Miss Shortcake, thanks for all the compliments and for the mischief we got into at the luncheons.

London Strawberry Festival committees and queens director, thank you for the opportunity. The wonderful crown, sash, crown pin, luncheon, flowers and trophy are just a few things I received, along with memories in the making, when I was chosen as queen. Last year’s festival was great, other than me tripping on stage a couple of times.

Everybody else, thank you if you were involved with the festival. I have had such a wonderful time. Many of you helped with my travels and broke up tickle fights among my court members. I know these past months have been hectic getting ready for this year’s festival, but the good food at the luncheon will be totally worth it.

I wish the 2008 queen and her court the best of luck. I hope your experience is as wonderful as mine has been. It’s amazing how fast the year will fly by. Enjoy it!

Danielle Stockham
2007 London Strawberry Festival Queen

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