Kaitlyn Wheatley crowned 2018 Pumpkinfest queen
The Pumpkinfest Pageant judges had a difficult time choosing the next queen to represent Confluence’s biggest annual event. In the end Thursday night, Kaitlyn Wheatley was crowned 2018 royalty.
“Overwhelmed,” Wheatley said about how she felt after she received her crown and sash. “I’m definitely happy that I won, but I’m even more happy that I got to experience this with all these amazing girls.”
The other contestants were Amber Joher, Gracey Johnson and Makenna Shroyer. To be entered into the pageant, Turkeyfoot Valley High School students pick four female juniors to compete. Over the course of a month, they answer questions and compete for the crown.
“We’re all very close,” Wheatley said of the contestants. “All the girls did a wonderful job.”
At the high school gym on Thursday, the four contestants spoke to an audience in their gowns and answered a random question picked from a pumpkin.
“That was very nerve-wracking,” she said. “Seeing all the faces in the crowd makes your heart stop.”
The crowd cheered loudly each time the contestants’ names were called.
“It felt amazing,” Wheatley said of having all her friends there, cheering her on. “The support system is everything, really.”
She was joined by her sisters and her mother, Jennifer Wheatley, and father, Patrick Wheatley.
Jennifer Wheatley said that a stage competition is out of her daughter’s comfort zone because she spends most of her time on the field, playing sports.
“She did very well and represented her school well,” she said.
Patrick Wheatley said that, as queen, Kaitlyn Wheatley will hand out various awards at Pumpkinfest, such as the 5K race trophy and the photography contest award, and she will also represent the fire company and ride in the parade on Sunday. Pumpkinfest runs Friday through Sunday.