POINT PLEASANT — The Mothman Festival Pageants held Saturday night at the Trinity Christian Community Center boasted a total of 63 contestants.
Celebrating its 10th annual event, the pageant crowned the 2017 royalty that will reign over this weekend’s Mothman Festival.
Taking home the title of Miss Mothman Festival Queen was Makinley Bumgarner of Letart. Bumgarner is the 16-year old daughter of Shane and Amy Bumgarner and is a junior at Wahama High School. She also takes duel credit classes through Marshall University. She emerged from a field of seven other contestants to capture the Queen title. She was crowned by the 2016 Mothman Festival Queen Kelsey Price.
Maddie Layton, 13, of Ravenswood was crowned the 2017 Teen Miss Mothman Festival Queen. She is in the eighth grade at Ravenswood Middle School, and is the daughter of Tyson and Barbara Layton. Layton competed against seven other teens vying for the title. She was crowned by Anna Litchfield, 2016 Teen Miss Mothman Festival Queen.
Joining these two ladies were the rest of the Mothman Festival Royalty Court. They include:
Mrs. Mothman Festival Queen, Chella Matos of Gallipolis, Ohio; Ms. Mothman Festival Queen, Megan James of Milton; Miss Mothman Festival Princess, Lacey Green of Belpre, Ohio; and Teen Miss Mothman Festival Princess, Kortlan Bush of Point Pleasant.
Matos is married to Dr. Mario Matos-Cruz, and has two daughters Kelsey and Kylie Price. She competed against eight other married ladies. She also received the Photogenic Award in this group. First runner up went to Wendi Williams; second runner up, Brandi Varian; and third runner up, Norma Knopp.
James, 31, beat out seven other ladies for the Ms. title. Runners up in this group were Mindy McCarty, first runner up; Katie Bowen, second runner up; and Susie Potter, third runner up. Eva Thorpe received Ms. Photogenic.
Green is the daughter of Pam Green of Belpre, Ohio and Jerry and Dawn Green of Coolville, Ohio. She is 21 years old. Runners up in the Miss division were Charli Leach, first runner up and Miss Photogenic; Rosalie Raines, second runner up; and McKenzie Roush, third runner up.
Bush is the daughter of Brandi and Andy Varian of Point Pleasant. She is 14 years old. First runner up went to Emma Tomlinson; second runner up, Ryleigh Wilkinson; and third runner up, Shelby Anderson. Photogenic in this group went to Queen, Maddie Layton.
During the evening pageant, a Carolin Harris Memorial Community Service Award was presented by Carolin’s great niece, Emma Sayre, who also was the Young Miss Mothman Festival Queen in 2013. This award was started by Delyssa Edwards, pageant director, in memory of the co-founder and co-director of the Mothman Festival. Contestants also brought in canned food donations to support the Mason County Action Group – a place where local residents once helped by Harris herself now receive assistance. Between Saturday’s two pageants, a total of nearly 2,400 items were donated to the program. The very first recipient of this award went to Mia Williams.
Another memorial award new to this year’s pageant remembered the life of Erika Westfall, the 2013 Mrs. Mothman Festival Queen who lost her battle to cancer in 2016. This award was presented by Westfall’s sister, Miranda Brooke, and her best friend, Amber High. It went to the contestant who showed the most enthusiasm and spirit during the pageant. This year’s recipient was Shelby Anderson.
Other awards given were the Travel Award, presented to the contestant who traveled the furthest to compete. It went to Susie Potter who traveled nearly 380 miles to compete. Amanda Taylor, won the Most Interesting Basket Item Award, for bringing in an apron from the Ramp Festival. The Fan Favorite Award, voted on by the audience, went to Mia Williams.
The night not only recognized the 2017 royalty, but since this year marked the 10th Annual event, many former royalty were in attendance and honored during a reception prior to the pageant. They also were involved in the pageant, during a special slideshow presentation.
Earlier in the day, children 2-12 competed for the Jr. Royalty court titles.
Those crowned in the children’s divisions were: Lillie McCoy, Tiny Miss Queen; Makenna Nutter, Little Miss Queen; Eli Casto, Little Mister King; Kinzy Arbogast, Young Miss Queen; and Emerson Mizer.
Lillie McCoy is the three-year old daughter of Shawn and Megan McCoy of Sitka, Ky. First runner up in the Tiny Miss division was Harleigh Jordan; second runner up, Neveah Romine-Dalton; and third runner up, Brooklyn Burns.
In the Little Miss division, Makenna Nutter won Queen. She is the six-year old daughter of Gretchen Hammond and Brian Nutter. Kylinn Finnicum received first runner up; Cynthia Saunders, second runner up; and Neveah Taylor, third runner up.
Two little guys competed for the Little Mister title. Eli Casto, 6, of Ripley, was crowned King. He sang “Country Roads” while his grandpa played the guitar. He is the son of Jonathon and Cassie Casto. Runner up was Chance Bailey.
Kinzy Arbogast was crowned Queen in the Young Miss division. She is the daughter of David and Kelly Arbogast and is seven years old. First runner up in this group went to Jalyn Ramsey; second runner up, Kendra Davis; and third runner up, Abby Woodall.
In the Junior Miss division, Emerson Mizer, 10, of New Philadelphia, Ohio, captured the title. She is the daughter of Tim and Kristin Mizer. First runner up went to Corbin Casto; second runner up was Madison Veon; and third runner up went to Jasmine Wright.
Awards for Fan Favorite were also given during the pageant. The winners were: Tiny Miss Butterfly Princess, Harleigh Jordan; Little Miss Butterfly Princess, Sophia Jackson; Young Miss Butterfly Princess, Mylee Ray’l, and Junior Miss Butterfly Princess, Kylie Price. The contestants with the most votes won King and Queen titles. They were Chance Bailey, Butterfly King, and Serenity Putney, Butterfly Queen.
Contestants also brought in food donations for the Mason County Action Group, mentioned above. The ones who brought in the most were recognized with titles. They included: Makayla Simpson, Tiny Miss Dragonfly Princess; Serenity Putney, Little Miss Dragonfly Princess; Eli Casto, Little Mister Dragonfly Prince; Abby Woodall, Young Miss Dragonfly Princess; and Kylie Price, Junior Miss Dragonfly Princess. The King and Queen titles, going to the contestants who brought in the most donations were: Chance Bailey, Dragonfly King, and Harleigh Jordan, Dragonfly Queen.
Photogenic winners were: Makayla Simpson, Tiny Miss; Sophia Jackson, Little Miss; Eli Casto, Little Mister; Jalyn Ramsey, Young Miss; and Jada Kent, Junior Miss. The overall Photogenic winner was Kaylie Joslyn.
The Most Interesting Basket Item Award went to Brooklyn Burns who brought in an item from Blenko Glass. And the contestant who traveled the furthest to compete was Zivah Berg, who came from Pennsylvania, Pa..
This year’s Mothman Pageant sponsors included Peoples Bank, Siders Jewelers, Four Seasons Florist, Deal Funeral Home, Jon Parrack Nationwide Insurance, Handley Law Office, Paul Simon & Agnes Enrico-Simon, M.D., Tudors Biscuit World. Basket sponsors were The Mason Jar, Happy Souls Massage – Brandi Varian, It Works – Ashley Durst, Brittany Sayre, Addison Fisher, Dress & Party Ohio, Counterpoint.
The 2017 Royalty hope you will join them at this year’s festival, Sept. 16 – 17. On Saturday, the Pretty Baby Contest will be held. Registration is at 10 am at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park. It is open to girl and boy contestants, from anywhere, ages 0-23 months.