POINT PLEASANT — The search is on for a new Heritage Queen to represent Mason County, not only during the upcoming Point Pleasant Battle Days, but throughout the next year.
The Heritage Queen contest is open to all women ages 60 and older. It will be held at the Gene Salem Senior Center on Oct. 7 at 10 a.m., according to Ann Dalton, executive administrative assistant for the Mason County Action Group Inc.
The deadline to enter is Friday. Contestants must be at least a five-year resident of Mason County, and previous queens are not eligible. Those entering are encouraged to wear long, old-fashioned style dresses.
The winner will replace reigning queen Joyce Dalton. The new queen will receive a crown, donated by Sider’s Jewelers, and a sash and bouquet, donated by the Point Pleasant Woman’s Club. She will immediately represent the county at the Battle Days parade on Oct. 8, and must provide her own transportation, Dalton said.
Point Pleasant Mayor Brian Billings will serve as the emcee of the contest. Mason County Sheriff Greg Powers and Delegate Jim Butler will escort each contestant to the stage, where they will be interviewed. Point Pleasant City Clerk Amber Tatterson is also expected to attend.
Dalton said several other local businesses have contributed to the queen contest to ensure its success. The event is open to the public, and following the contest, punch and cake will be served by the county action group.
Those wishing to enter the contest must fill out an application. For more information, or to obtain an application, contact Dalton at 304-675-2369.
In addition to Dalton, who won last year’s title, also competing in the 2015 contest were Bonnie Frederick, Donna Harper, Charlotte Knaul and Geraldine Schronce.
On a related note, the 2016 Battle Days Pageant will return at 3 p.m. Sunday at The Meeting House (the former St. Paul United Methodist Church) at 2434 Jackson Ave. The pageant is a fundraiser for Mason County Toys for Kids which provides toys for local children in need, at Christmas.
Giving up their 2015 titles will be Miss Battle Days Maggie Criste, Young Miss Battle Days Kate Henderson, Junior Miss Battle Days Emily Bale, Little Mr. Battle Days Caleb Heib, and Little Miss Battle Days Hadleigh Cossin.
Battle Days is Oct. 7-9 at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.