History Made June 15th, 2024 As Coryn Young Crowned as the First African American Dairy Festival Queen

June 16, 2024 – The hugely successful 2024 Dairy Festival came to an awesome conclusion Saturday night, June 15, 2024, at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center Auditorium when, after fierce competition from nine very talented contestants, Coryn Young was crowned as the 2024 Hopkins County Dairy Festival Queen. Coryn Young made history as being the first African American to earn the crown. Coryn Young is the daughter of Shandis and Cory Young, and will be attending Sulphur Springs High School in the Fall as a Senior. The theme for this year’s Dairy Festival, which celebrates and acknowledges the rich heritage of the dairy industry, was “Night at the Moo-Seum.” The theme and the spirit was carried out throughout the Festival from the hot air balloons, the parade with all of it’s wonderful floats, the Jr. Dairy Show, Milking Contest, Ice Cream Freeze Off, and Carnival finally concluding with the 63rd Annual Dairy Festival Pageant!

The Dairy Festival Pageant began with the Posting of the Colors by the Civil Air Patrol Squadron SWR-TX450. A beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by Brad Cummings followed, and then Carolyn McKinney took to the mic to welcome everyone and to introduce the evening’s Emcee, Israel Lewis. Lewis then approached and began his excellent Master of Ceremonies duties of the night, starting with introduction of the 2024 Dairy Festival Queen Contestants. Each contestant took to the stage, which was impressively decorated as a museum to carry on the theme, “Night at the Moo-Seum,” as Israel Lewis shared some details about each young lady. Next, the 2023 Dairy Festival Queen, Caroline Prickette, daughter of John and Gena Prickette, was introduced and she took to the stage. Caroline Prickette then helped out as Israel Lewis introduced the “Moo-Seum Minis.” The young kids took the stage and strutted their stuff, waving and smiling. Caroline Prickette handed each kid a trophy, and then Lewis announced the winners of the “Moo-Seum Minis” floats. Earning Second place recognition were Ellis Chenault, son of Eric and Cecily Chenault, and Harper Adams, daughter of Neal and Courtney Adams. Their parade float won them $50 and a plaque. And, the first place winners were Payton Fatland, son of Cameron and Ashten Fatland, and Jaxson Roan, son of Cole and Jacy Roan. Their parade float won them $100 and a plaque.

Israel Lewis then introduced the Judges of the 2024 Hopkins County Dairy Festival Queen competition as the 2024 contestants prepared to show off their talents in the Talent Competition. The 2024 Hopkins County Dairy Festival Queen Contestant Competition Judges consisted of Missy Lyda, Denita Young, Terry McGonigal, Jeff Cochran, and Ana Lemons. And standing in as Auditor was Emily Glass. Next, each Queen Contestant took to the stage to show off the best of their talents. The competition was impressive. You could tell each young woman was giving it all their best, and it showed. Each example of talent was inspiring. There was no doubt that each contestant had worked hard and prepared for this moment, giving it all of their best efforts. The examples of great talent ranged from dancing to singing, from artistic speech pieces to archery, piano playing to comedy. The judges had quite the challenge in front of them. Once the Talent Competition was concluded, the night’s activities took a break as the Pageant went into a brief intermission.

The evening’s pageantries then continued with special entertainment. 2023 Queen Caroline Prickette showed off her great talent by performing a song for the audience. Caroline also had a chat with the night’s emcee Israel Lewis where she discussed her future plans. Next, the 2024 Dairy Fest Queen Contestants were escorted on stage by their fathers. One by one they walked on stage dressed in beautiful gowns for the Evening Gown Competition. Each contestant stepped up to the mic and shared a personal thought, or philosophy. A brief expression of advise and their opinion of what Hopkins County and it’s spirit means to them.. Each of the young women took a spot on stage and waited patiently. As the judges then tallied up their scores Judge Brad Cummings and his son took to the stage and performed a lively number entertaining the audience and the 2024 Queen Contestants. Once the two were finished Israel Lewis checked with Emily Glass to see if the Judges were ready to reveal the night’s winners, but they were not. So, Brad Cummings performed a couple more numbers.

The moment everyone had been waiting for all evening had finally arrived. The revealing of the winners. First, Ticket Sales Awards were rewarded. Second Place in Ticket Sales went to Zoe Reed, Daughter of Coby and Chelsey Reed, and Jennifer Smith Reed. Zoe sold $1,440.00 in tickets. First Place in Ticket Sales went to Alaina Johnson, Daughter of Matt and Karla Johnson. Alaina sold $1,510.00 worth of tickets. Each of these contestants were rewarded cash prizes. The next Award presented was the Tracey Gold Fox Miss Congeniality Award. The 2024 Contestant to win this Award was Coryn Young, Daughter of Shandis and Cory Young. Coryn won a plaque for this Award. Next, the winner of the 2024 Talent Award was announced. Coryn Young’s dance routine to Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” earned her this Award, which rewarded her a $500.00 Scholarship. The announcement of the winners of the top four Awards came next. The Third Runner Up for Queen was Awarded to Aspen Mayhew, Daughter of Jeremy and Nicole Mayhew. The Award rewarded Aspen a $500 Scholarship and a Silver Tray. The Second Runner Up honor went to Alaina Johnson, Daughter of Matt and Karla Johnson. Alaina won a $750 Scholarship and a Silver Tray. The Award for First Runner Up to the Queen went to Contestant Sedona McCollom, Daughter of Amy Chandler. Sedona won a $1,000 Scholarship and a Silver Tray. Everyone was on the edge of their seat as Israel Lewis began to announce that the 2024 Hopkins County Dairy Festival Queen was… Coryn Young! … Coryn was rewarded a $1,250.00 Scholarship, and a Silver Tray. This huge win brought the 2024 Hopkins County Dairy Festival to a climatic close. The entire Festival was one for the History books.

Save the Date! The 2025 Hopkins County Dairy Festival is currently scheduled to take place June 13th, 2025 through June 21st, 2025. A video presentation of the 63rd Annual Dairy Festival Pageant, “Night at the Moo-Seum” will be available to see on Cable Channel 18, and KSST’s YouTube Channel, within the next few days. Be sure to check it out once it goes live!

Author: Matt Janson

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