Outgoing queen enjoyed her journey

Published 3:17 am Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My experience as Paper Queen has been unlike anyone else’s in the past. My mother was 50th Paper Queen, my great-grandmother was Paper Queen and I served as crown-bearer years ago. This is truly a “family tradition” for me. This festival is so rich in tradition. I have truly been blessed to be able to represent not only our festival, but our paper industry and the hardworking women and men who contribute to it everyday, as well as the American Legion Post 24 who have welcomed me with open arms from the beginning. I love being able to tell people where I’m from and what this all means to me.

I have never experienced any of the festivals I attended quite like I have this year. I wish I could go into extreme detail about everything I attended, but I’ll tell you a little bit about my top favorites. From lighting the way for Papa Noel in Lutcher, to eating contests, peeling contests, picking our own fruits, and dancing on stage with the band in Plaquemines Parish, I have done just about all you could imagine.

Another of my favorites was going to Breaux Bridge to tour Crawfish Town, USA, eating more crawfish than I care to admit, actually getting in the boat to and going to catch the crawfish, and getting to meet the new queen. I’ve met so many people that have impacted me in one way or another. I miss all of my friends who have given up already and will miss traveling with the new girls even more.

To top all of my events off, Washington D.C. Mystique Krewe of Louisianians Mardi Gras Ball was an experience like no other. I met so many influential and special people and made memories that will last me long beyond this journey. Starting with an almost three-hour flight delay, it was definitely the most fun trip I’ve ever been on. The most humbling experience I’ve ever partaken in would have to be our trip to the Lincoln, Korean, and Vietnam Memorials. It was freezing, but such a sunny day. I would like to thank the members of American Legion Post 24 for their service and for including me in their monthly meetings, allowing me to tell everyone about the experiences I have been making and my travels.

This year has been one I will never forget and I cannot thank everyone enough for the overwhelming support. I will always remember my time being able to represent this small town with such a big heart. It saddens me that this is the end of the journey, but I know Kelly will do such a wonderful job!

Forever your 76th Bogalusa Paper Queen, Madison Kathleen Pope