La Plata preparing for annual festival

If you need something fun to do this Labor Day weekend, La Plata has plenty going on.

The city is hosting its annual La Plata Soybean Festival with the theme of "Racing for a Win."

La Plata Promotional Committee treasurer, Cheryl Curtis, said this is the 60th year for the festival.

The opening ceremony begins Friday at 6 p.m., and the Soybean Festival ends Monday at noon.

The festival will have several tournaments, the little Mr. and Miss La Plata Contest and the Queen Soya Contest.

â??Itâ??s a lot of fun,â?? said Sally Moore, La Plata promotional Committee vice President. â??We do a chicken q on Saturday night also, thatâ??s a really yummy time.â??

If the food doesn't get you out, maybe the reunion of past Queen Soyas will.

Dozens of previous winners are expected to be on hand this weekend. (see further information posted below)

Moore said this year there are eight contestants in the running to be Queen Soya.

â??Itâ??s not just a title, said Moore. â??The queen presides over several events during the Soybean Festival.â??

The event is free to get in. You do have to pay for the carnival rides.

Itâ??s $15 for advanced tickets to ride the rides. If you get tickets at the door, they are $20.

To purchase tickets or to be a future Queen Soya, contact members of the La Plata Promotional Committee.

Below is information compiled by Lois Bragg of La Plata regarding the upcoming reunion of former Queen Soyas:

Former Queen Soyas To Be Honored At 60th Reunion

The first pageant was held in 1953 when an estimated crowd of 2,000 was present when Toby Baldwin Johnson was crowned as the first Queen Soya. The pageant has been held each year since that time under the direction of several individuals and organizations. Don White, who was one of the initial organizers of the first Labor Day Celebration in 1953, and Lois Bragg served as the coordinators of the event for several years as well as several of the Beta Sigma Phi Chapters. During some of the earlier years, it wasnâ??t unusual for over 40 contestants to compete for the title of Queen Soya with many young ladies from surrounding communities. In later years, the pageant was limited to only young ladies attending the La Plata R-II School District.

Over the years, Belt Fur & Wool had four of their candidates crowned - Sandra Hays Papendick - 1960, Barbara Powell - 1967, and Allison Belt Rowland - 1981 and Vicki Richardson Benson â?? 1982 were crowned back to back years.

MFA Propane had winners during four of the pageants â?? Kristin Moore â?? 1988; Elizabeth Janes â?? 2011 and back to back years in 1992 â?? Katy Clevenger Sawyer and 1993 â?? Amy Bragg Grahlen.

C & R Market has had two candidates crownedâ?? Karah Naughton - 2007 and Cassie Kimmel - 2009.

Cablescopeâ??s candidates Tracey Martin Denslow â?? 1984 and Lisa Gonnerman Hawkins â?? 1985 were crowned back to back years.

Hillâ??s Turkey Hatchery had two candidates crowned - Sue Moots Lindley â?? 1961 and Lois Pinson Bragg â?? 1968.

La Plata State Bank had three successful candidates â?? Karen Mossbarger Bragg â?? 1965; Betsy Wait Maxey â?? 1983 and Kathy Love Fuller â?? 1996.

Payne Construction had winners during three pageants â?? 1987 â?? Stacey Bragg Ross; 1998 â?? Stephanie Hettinger Jurado and 2003 â?? Erica Falls Baker.

PE Jepson Lumber had two Queens crowned â?? 2001 â?? Rachel Lovingier Oâ??Brien and 2006 â?? Jordan Robinson.

Pollock Funeral Home had back to back winners in 1990 â?? Audra Davison Jackson and 1991 â?? Annie McGee Clevenger.

Karen Mossbarger Bragg, 1965 Queen Soya and Stacey Bragg Ross, 1987 Queen Soya, were the first Mother/Daughters crowned. Donna Fredman Thompson, 1973 Queen Soya and her daughter Andrea Thompson, 1994 Queen Soya were the only other Mother/Daughters crowned.

There is one Grandmother/Granddaughter combo - Joyce Williams Hall, 1957 Queen Soya is the Grandmother of Stephanie Hettinger Jurado, 1998 Queen Soya.

There have been two sets of sisters crowned Queen Soya. The first being Mariah Robinson Lock, 2000 Queen Soya and her sister Jordan Robinson, 2006 Queen Soya and Cassie Kimmel, 2009 Queen Soya crowned her sister Morgan Kimmel, 2010 Queen Soya.

Phyllis Bragg Belt, 1955 Centennial Queen Soya is an aunt to Allison Belt Rowland, 1981 Queen Soya and the sister-in-law of Lois Pinson Bragg, 1968 Queen Soya. Shirley Wares Mach, 1954 Queen Soya is a cousin to Pam Wares, 1969 Queen Soya. Karen Mossbarger Bragg, 1965 Queen Soya is an aunt to Amy Bragg Grahlen, 1993 Queen Soya and Stacey Bragg Ross, 1987 Queen Soya is Amyâ??s cousin. Sue Moots Lindley, 1961 Queen Soya is an aunt to Gracie Hensen, 2008 Queen Soya and Janet Lock Sager, 1966 Queen Soya is an aunt to Mariah Robinson Lock, 2000 Queen Soya. Annie McGee Clevenger, 1991 Queen Soya crowned her sister-in-law, Katy Clevenger Sawyer, 1992 Queen Soya.

This makes the third Former Queen Soya Reunion with the others being held at 25 years in 1977 and at 40 years in 1992.

The first Queen Soya, Toby Baldwin Johnson, is the only one of the fifty-nine ladies to have passed away. Toby was so looking forward to the 60th reunion and was the first one to respond to the mailing last October. After a brief battle with cancer, she passed away on January 17th, 2012.

In the earlier yearsk the Queen Soya crowns were made of cardboard covered with gold spray paint and soybeans. In 1970, 1971, and 1972 they received rhinestone tiaras and for some reason the 1973, 1974, 1975 Queens once again received the homemade crowns. Debbie (Fuller) Wolf, 1975 Queen Soya, told me that when she crowned Cheryl Tietsort Poore, 1976 Queen Soya, she was given a rhinestone tiara for herself and Cheryl. After 1976, all Queens received the tiaras.

There are forty-eight of the fifty-nine former Queen Soyas planning to attend all or a portion of the 60th reunion. They are Shirley Wares Mach - 1954; Phyllis Bragg Belt â?? 1955; Evelyn Shaffer Bunch â?? 1956; Joyce Williams Hall â?? 1957; Janet Beecher Turner â?? 1958; Carol Biggs Pemberton â?? 1959; Sue Moots Lindley â?? 1961; Donnie Joyce Wood Parrish â?? 1963; Diana Bogeart Reynolds â?? 1964; Karen Mossbarger Bragg â?? 1965; Janet Lock Sager â?? 1966; Lois Pinson Bragg â?? 1968; Pamela Wares â?? 1969; Paula McClanahan Thompson â?? 1970; Cathy Jones Cochran â?? 1971; Tammy Addis Ward â?? 1972; Donna Fredman Thompson â?? 1973; Debbie Fuller Wolf â?? 1975; Cheryl Tietsort Poore â?? 1976; Lori Hinkle Christenson â?? 1978; Ann Harrison Davis â?? 1980; Allison Belt Rowland â?? 1981; Vicki Richardson Benson â?? 1982; Betsy Wait Maxey â?? 1983; Lisa Gonnerman Hawkins â?? 1985; Lori Sees Pinkston â?? 1986; Stacey Bragg Ross â?? 1987; Kristin Moore â?? 1988; Audra Davison Jackson â?? 1990; Annie McGee Clevenger â?? 1991; Katy Clevenger Sawyer â?? 1992; Andrea Thompson Hatfield â?? 1994; Dana Deskin Nelson â?? 1995; Kathy Love Fuller â?? 1996; Dayne Westbrook â?? 1997; Stephanie Hettinger Jurado â?? 1998; Kristina Bunch Wolf â?? 1999; Mariah Robinson Lock â?? 2000; Rachel Lovingier Oâ??Brien â?? 2001; Jessica List Profitt â?? 2002; Erica Falls Baker â?? 2003; Mindy Cardwell Flickinger â?? 2005; Jordan Robinson â?? 2006; Karah Naughton â?? 2007; Gracie Hensen â?? 2008; Cassie Kimmel â?? 2009; Morgan Kimmel â?? 2010; and Elizabeth Janes â?? 2011.

Former Queen Soyas that have sent their regrets in not being able to attend are Sandra Hays Papendick â?? 1960 Queen Soya; Judy Chaney Lackey Meeker â?? 1962 Queen Soya; Barbara Powell â?? 1967 Queen Soya; Pam Sewell Coon â??1974 Queen Soya; Judy Douglas Davis Turner â?? 1977 Queen Soya; Jennie Gregory Knighton â?? 1989 Queen Soya; Amy Bragg Grahlen â?? 1993 Queen Soya; and Barbara Cripe Forsythe â?? 2004 Queen Soya.

Pam Turner Fry was 1979 Queen Soya and Tracey Marten Denslow was 1984 Queen Soya.

Local photographer, Aaron Pippin, will be taking a group photo at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 1st, followed by a luncheon at the Santa Fe Expresso. The former Queen Soyas will be introduced on the stage at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening, September 1st, prior to the 60th Annual Pageant and will also be riding in convertibles in the parade at noon on Labor Day, Monday, September 3rd.

Aaron will also be taking photos of the Queens in their convertibles prior to the parade. Convertibles are still needed for the parade and anyone that has one and would be willing to provide transportation for one of these ladies is ask to please contact Lois Bragg at 660-341-2221.

Many of these ladies are traveling long distances from out of state â?? Arkansas, Montana, California, Iowa, Tennessee, and Michigan as well as various areas throughout the state of Missouri â?? so please plan to attend this event and give them a warm welcome!

In case of inclement weather, the Saturday evening event will be held in the La Plata R-II High School Gymnasium.

Anyone having access to Face Book can go to â??Former La Plata Queen Soyasâ?? page where pictures are posted of the former Queens â??then and nowâ??.