American Legion getting set for 75th Paper Queen

Published 4:17 pm Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The American Legion is celebrating a milestone this year. It is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Paper Queen and pageant.

The Paper Queen Pageant is full of history and tradition. It is the second oldest pageant of fairs and festivals in the state of Louisiana. It began in 1939 to complement the Fourth of July Parade and the celebration of the birth of the city of Bogalusa. A young lady was chosen as the Bogalusa Centennial Queen that year. In 1940, the name was changed to Paper Queen Pageant. The title was chosen for the area’s world-renowned timber and paper industry. There has been a pageant every year except in 1941 because of World War II.

The queen is chosen from a group of young ladies who participate in collecting donations. The young lady with the most donations is selected as queen. The money goes toward helping a variety of local projects and programs. It helps with the Fourth of July Celebration and the flag at Willis Avenue in Bogalusa in addition to helping needy veterans and their families throughout the parish.

The young ladies chosen as Paper Queen represent the parish when traveling to various fairs and festivals across the state meeting new and interesting people. However, the highlight of the reign of the Paper Queen is the Washington Mardi Gras Ball that is attended every year in Washington, D. C.

The pageant awards the Queen $1,500; Miss Dixie $1,200; Sweetheart of the Legion $1,000; and the Honor Court, which consists of four young ladies, $500 in scholarships for participation in the pageant. The pageant will be held on Friday, July 3, at 7 p.m. The parade will be on Saturday, July 4, at 10 a.m.

All past queens are invited to attend both activities. There will also be a past queen tea on June 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the old American Legion.

In honor of the 75th pageant, the committee contracted Derik Thompson to create a T-shirt and logo for the special occasion.