Junior Division peach queen pageants were held on Saturday prior to the 59th Lexington County Peach Festival. Beautiful smiles and beautiful faces filled the stage. All Lexington County Peach pageant contestants must be residents of Lexington County.
This year’s Wee Miss Peach winner was Dani Rayne Stidham, daughter of Eric and Starla Stidham of Lexington. First runner-up was Kinsley Elizabeth Simons, daughter of Steven and LaNelle Simons of Lexington, and second runner-up and photogenic winner was Farah Chay Long, daughter of B.J. and Felicia Long of Lexington.
Abigail Grace Cooper, daughter of Todd Cooper and Christy Jeffcoat of Lexington, was crowned Little Miss Peach. First runner-up and photogenic winner was Cayce Smith, daughter of Charles and Debbie Smith of Cayce. Gracie Anna Temples, daughter of Andrew Temples and Cindy Reichardt of Lexington, was second runner-up; and third runner-up was Ansley Caroline Gresham, daughter of Gerrie and Heather Gresham of Leesville.
Sarah Elizabeth Adkins, daughter of Jarett and Christal Adkins of Lexington, was crowned Miss Petite Peach and the photogenic winner. First runner-up was Lauren Elizabeth Morton, daughter of John and Stephanie Morton of Lexington; second runner-up was Savannah Kaley Shirley, daughter of Robert and Carrie Shirley of Leesville; and third runner-up was Kaitlyn Lea Meetze, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B.J. Meetze and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mobley of Leesville.
Emily Ryan Garris, daughter of Parker and Dawn Garris of Gilbert, was crowned Miss Young Peach and photogenic winner. First runner-up was McKenzie Wood, daughter of Chip and Carey Wood of Lexington; second runner-up was Addie Lynn Evans, daughter of Barry and Amy Evans of Lexington; and third runner-up was Madeleine Paige Mills, daughter of Doug and Courtney Mills of Lexington.
This year’s Miss Teen Peach and photogenic winner was Lindsay Grace Holley, daughter of Jeff and Britt Collins of Lexington. First runner-up was Gracen Elizabeth Torbett, daughter of Shawn and Becky Torbett of Lexington; second runner-up was Sarah Beth Sheridan, daughter of Pete and Elizabeth Sheridan of Lexington; and third runner-up was McKenna Jade Smith, daughter of Tommy and Michelle Smith of Pelion.
The 2017 Lexington County Peach Queen and photogenic winner was Ryann Delaney Cranshaw, daughter of Brad and Cindy Cranshaw of Lexington. First runner-up was Meera Rutupanra Bhonsle’, daughter of Rutu and Nicole Bhonsle’ of Lexington. Second runner-up was Cicely Deatrice Wise, daughter of James Generette and Janice Wise of Leesville; and third runner-up was Brooke Nicole Ellisor, daughter of Lonnie and Alena Ellisor of Chapin. Fourth runner-up was Morgan Michele Taylor, daughter of Scott and Tracy Taylor of Gilbert.
The Gilbert Community Club began the Peach Festival in 1959 as a fundraising opportunity, hat has continued through the concessions that are sold each year. The monies raised by the Gilbert Community Club and the Peach Festival are used to provide the Festival’s entertainment on three stages in the park on July 4 th as well as covering other Festival expenses. During the last year, the community club’s contributions included donations to the Lexington Country Recreation and Aging’s Meals on Wheels program, donations to the public schools in Gilbert, a donation to the Samaritans Well supporting the Lexington County Battle for the Badges, providing scholarships to students who have volunteered with at least three qualified Peach Festivals at Gilbert Community Club concessions, sponsored Gilbert High School students for Palmetto Girls State and Palmetto Boys State, honored a male and female academic GHS athlete, and paid half the utility and maintenance expenses for the Gilbert Scouting program, and the maintenance and repairs of the Gilbert Community Park. Community volunteers are behind the Festival’s success with families who volunteer throughout the day, and several families now volunteering into the fourth generation including descendants of Roy and Margaret Steele, George and Leola Crout, and others working behind the scenes to insure the Festival operates smoothly from year to year.