Fair queen crowned: Ben’s Ford student wins annual pageant

Published 5:46 am Friday, October 21, 2016

After a day of competition, the 38th Washington Parish Free Fair Queen was announced Tuesday evening.

Lexie Nicole Hebert was crowned the winner, out of the field of 12 participants.

According to her official biography, Hebert is the daughter of Glynn and Kellie Hebert of Bogalusa and she is a senior at Ben’s Ford Christian School. She is also dual-enrolled in Southeastern Louisiana University. Hebert is in the National Honor Society, active in the BETA Club and is the 2017 senior class vice president.

After her graduation from high school, Hebert plans to attend SLU and major in kinesiology and then become a physical therapist.

Outside of school, Hebert has been dancing with Dawn’s Dance Academy for 14 years and she attends Westside Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Her fair win is not Hebert’s first brush with royalty. Hebert was a member of the 2016 Paper Queen Honor Court and the Magic City Carnival Association Royal Court of 2015-2016.

Hebert is following outgoing queen, Fallon Turner.

Hebert said that Tuesday’s pageant was so intense, that once Bill Arata, the master of ceremonies, declared her the winner, she didn’t have time to process anything.

“It was kind of like, I didn’t have time to think about it. It was so overwhelming,” she said. “But it was so great at the same time.”

She said her day began at 7 a.m., and by 1 p.m. she and the other contestants were interviewing with the judges. She hasn’t slowed down since. Each morning, she helps open the fair and she helps close it down.

“I’m at the stage every night and every morning,” she said.

But Hebert is not complaining.

“I love it; I am grateful for this experience and opportunity,” Hebert said.

After Hebert, the first runner-up was Chelsea Armand and the second runner-up was Hannah Jones.

Hebert was a clear favorite of the four judges, also taking home the interview award, the fashion award and the photogenic award. The award for congeniality went to Blair Magee.

The pageant portion of the competition began on the fair’s main stage Tuesday, a little after 8 p.m. Each of the contestants, dressed in formalwear, had to answer a different fair-related question. However, the contestants were also interviewed earlier that day one-on-one with each judge. The judges based scoring on several criteria, including poise, appearance in the gown, GPA and the answer to the question.

Hebert was asked what color she would like to add to the fair’s flag. The official colors of the flag are green, gold, red and white.

“If I were to add a color, it would be blue,” Hebert said, “Because of our generosity, our picnic spirit and we deserve many blue ribbons.”

Other than Armand, an SLU student, all other candidates were area high school students. Jones and Magee both attend Pine High School.

Other contestants included Alyssa Pardee, Buffy Baker, Tara Martin, Kelsie Simonson, Emily Scott Simms, Olivia Kemp, Lorigan Jarrell and Haley Stephens.