Royalty crowned to reign over Jambalaya Festival

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Stevi Renae Girouard 
is the 18-year-old daughter of Dane and Sharon Girouard of Gonzales. She is a 
2012 graduate of 
East Ascension High School. Stevi is currently a Freshman at Southeastern Louisiana University, studying social studies education. She said she is honored to represent a title so close to her heart and wanted to let everyone across the state
know how wonderful the City of Gonzales and Jambalaya Festival Association truly are. Stevi would like also to invite everyone in Ascension Parish to the Jambalaya Festival, May 23-26.

All of the pageant fun began on Saturday, May 4 with Teen and Miss interviews at the home of Frank and Carol Ann Frederic. After the interviews, the contestants went to dress for the evening gown competition while 2012 Teen Miss Gonzales Jambalaya, Lexie Scioneaux, and 2012 Miss Gonzales Jambalaya, Meredith Conger, welcomed visiting queens from throughout the state to Gonzales. The visiting queens held a mini pot cookoff at the home of Scott Duplechein. Scott and 2012 World Champion Jambalaya Cook Danny Robert judged the mini pots. The winning team was Karli Adams, Louisiana Gumbo Queen, Taylor Slocum, Amite Oyster Festival Queen, and Amy Henderson, Sicilian Heritage Festival Queen. The visiting queens then were welcomed to the Gonzales Holiday Inn Express to change and get ready for the evening festivities.

The Gonzales Civic Center was decorated beautifully in the theme "Jambalaya & Co. Presents: A Pageant at Tiffany's," thanks to Queen Mothers Laurina Conger and Laurie Scioneaux. Contestants and reigning queens danced to "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend". All contestants modeled their evening gowns beautifully and were asked an onstage question by the emcees, Carol Ann Frederic and Todd Long. Lexie and Meredith played a slideshow which featured pictures of their many travels as Teen and Miss Gonzales Jambalaya. Past Jambalaya

Festival queens Laurie Fridge Brumfield, Jace Templet Babin, Brittney Robert, Elise Tureau, Jenna Levert, Tabitha Babin, and Kaylea Magee were recognized. Both Lexie and Meredith then gave heartfelt speeches and shed tears as their reign was coming to an end. Then came the highlight of the evening, the contestants all lined up for awards and crowning. In the teen division, Jenna Cornett was announced 2nd Alternate, Renee Delaune 1st Alternate, and Alyssa Gordillo was crowned 2013 Teen Miss Gonzales Jambalaya. In the Miss division, Maria Vidrine was announced 2nd Alternate, Jacqueline Gautreau 1st Alternate, and Stevi Girouard was crowned 2012 Miss Gonzales Jambalaya.

The children's division of the pageant was held the following day. 53 children competed for titles that would earn them the chance to reign over the Jambalaya Festival. Winners were as follows: Baby King- Maverick Clements, Junior King- , Ethan Sutton, Baby Miss- Londyn Louque, Toddler Miss- Averie Bourgeois, Tiny Miss- Gabriella Rizzuto, Mini Miss- Chloe Duplessis, Petite Miss- Presley Kling, Deb Miss- Alyssa Peralta, and Junior Miss- Mackenzie Nassar. The contestants were all photographed by Brad Walker as they were crowned.

The Jambalaya Festival Pageant director, Elise Tureau, thanked Holiday Inn Express, Healing Place Church, Cox Communications, Krazy Kajun Cookware, Fran Baker, Anne Lemmen, Shea Allen, Brad Walker, Jenna Levert, Kaylea Magee, Heather Becnel, Hunter Becnel, Julie Hurst, Carol Ann Frederic, Todd Long, Tammy Guillory, Vanessa Blair, Dena Dewhurst, Brittney Robert, Kara Erickson, Laurie Scioneaux, Laurina Conger, Jana Gordillo, Sharon Girouard, Veronica Schexnaydre, Travis Frederic, Danny Frederic, Norris Tureau, Joey Cornett, and all contestants and their parents. This pageant is a successful fundraiser for the Jambalaya Festival Association because of all of the hard work and support from these people.