POINT PLEASANT — “You never become a failure, until you fail to try.”
This according to Jocelynn Wilson, of Point Pleasant, who is known for trying out for (and making) the Point Pleasant High School football team, and now, she’s the 2017 Miss West Virginia Association of Fairs and Festivals. She’ll reign over this year’s West Virginia State Fair.
Wilson, who represented Battle Days, was crowned over the weekend and competed against 78 girls from across the state.
Wilson said she was so shocked she won, that when they announced “Miss Battle Days” as the winner, she had to look at her sash to be sure that was her, in a moment of being completely overwhelmed.
“I was like, there’s no way,” she said, explaining it was only when she saw her mother and boyfriend cheering in the audience and other contestants urging her forward to get the crown, that she realized it was happening.
“That was exciting,” she said and completely unexpected.
Wilson, who has only competed in a handful of pageants in her entire life, said “I wasn’t expecting much” when she arrived in Charleston, competing against other young women with much more experience. In addition, the process of registering, going to orientation and long practices, was “overwhelming” but an “amazing experience,” according to her. Part of the what made the experience so “amazing” was getting to hang out with two local girls, Katherine Deem, the Mason County Fair Queen and Bridget Dudding, the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta Queen, according to Wilson. Dudding also placed in the top five finishers.
“Everything was so busy,” she said about the entire weekend which left her with very little sleep but many memories. “I’m very fortunate and I’m very lucky.”
She said her goal during the pageant was, to just be herself.
“I was just myself…I didn’t do anything fancy…I wasn’t trying to be anybody else,” she explained.
During the promos competition, Wilson kept true to that individuality by rapping to the crowd.
“I wanted to do something different, I got the crowd clapping…I was the only queen to rap,” Wilson said.
She explained the rap was also practical, because she can’t sing and didn’t want to embarrass herself.
In addition to promos, the contestants met with judges, with Wilson getting questions about her time as a female football player for the Point Pleasant Big Blacks and the fact she was homecoming queen while wearing a football uniform when she attended Point Pleasant High School. She said, talking about this time in her life gave her an opportunity to talk about at least trying to go for what you want in life, no matter the outcome.
“If there’s something in your life you truly want, work hard for it and put all you have into doing it and at the end of the day, even if you didn’t successfully accomplish what you wanted to do, you can look at yourself and say, ‘well, i tried,’ therefore I’m not a failure,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to take chances in life.”
Wilson said with her new title, she hopes to travel across the entire state, promoting Battle Days, Mason County and the West Virginia Association of Fairs and Festivals. She hopes to give back in some way and is currently brainstorming ideas on causes she can promote.
Wilson’s dream is to become an ESPN sportscaster and she’s currently a sophomore at Marshall University, studying broadcast journalism.
According to Battle Days Pageant Director Brandy Sweeney, Wilson is the 18th Battle Days Queen. Though some past queens have placed highly in the West Virginia Association of Fairs and Festivals competition, Wilson is the first from the pageant to win it.
Sweeney is organizing a reception for Wilson at 5 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28 at Peoples Bank on Main Street. There will be speakers and refreshments. For those who would like to contribute to the event in honoring Wilson, contact Sweeney on Facebook.