Each parish queen will be interviewed by a panel of judges where she must demonstrate her knowledge of sugar cane production, history of the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival and economic impact to the state.

The 77th Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival will kick off in New Iberia Thursday, September 27th with a weekend full of events celebrating the sugar cane harvest season and the 200 year old Sugar Cane industry in Louisiana.

As part of the celebration each year, sugar producing parishes select one young lady to represent their local farmers and parish at the festival where she will vie for the title of Louisiana Queen Sugar.

Each parish queen will be interviewed by a panel of judges where she must demonstrate her knowledge of sugar cane production, history of the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival and economic impact to the state. She will also participate in a traditional coronation and model onstage for the judges and be scored in her grace, poise and speaking ability.

Emilie Schwing, of Gonzales, will represent Ascension Parish at this year's 77th Queen Sugar pageant. Emilie is the daughter of Jimmy and Christie Schwing, both born and raised in New Iberia currently residing in Gonzales. Emilie graduated from Dutchtown High School and is currently attending Louisiana State University majoring in Mass Communications concentrating in Public Relations.

While at LSU Emilie has maintained a 3.8 GPA and served as an LSU Cheerleader for the past two years. Schwing has spent time volunteering for numerous organizations including Volunteer Ascension, LSU FCA and Volunteer LSU.

The Ascension Parish Sugar Queen Committee wishes Emilie the best of luck as she embarks on the "sweetest" weekend of the year!

For more information about the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival, please visit www.hisugar.org.

Contributed by La. Sugar Cane Festival