All applicants were required to be a junior in high school and maintain a 3.0 grade point average.
Contestants spent part of the day at the Queen’s Luncheon at Grace United Methodist Church, where eight minute individual interviews were conducted.
Judges Jim Shumway, Brooke Cromley and Lindsay Russell considered the interviews as well as stage performance when deciding each competitor’s final score.
2006 River Recreation Festival Queen Michelle Regan welcomed the crowd and Emcee Melvin Biars joked with contestants before asking each one a single question.
The contestants discussed their interests in many areas including charity work, church, sports, dance, art, clubs, activities and organizations.
Megan Wise won the title of Third Runner-up. She talked about the advantages of being a PSO student and selected her Mom when asked who was the most influential person in her life. She said she chose her mother because of her strength, wisdom and encouragement during the best and worst of times.
“My Mom has always been there,” said Wise. “She’s been my mom, my leader, and my best friend for a very long time.”
Kayla Johnson was named Second Runner-up and spends much of her time working with the PRIDE team. When asked what she would put in a time capsule to represent the youth of today, she replied that she would include an assortment of CD’s from all genre’s of music.
“Our music describes us,” said Johnson.
Valerie Richie was selected as both First Runner-up and Miss Congeniality. She spoke of her involvement in the Children of the American Revolution, which keeps her actively involved in promoting patriotism, education, and preservation of history and heritage.
When asked what her parents might have learned from having her, she replied that it must have been a lot through the years.
“I think I taught them to relax and have fun,” said Richie.
Jessica Willet was crowned the 2007 River Recreation Festival Queen and plans to study political science and law or welding engineering at college.
She began the unusual hobby of welding about three years ago when her grandfather invited her to try it out. Since then, she has built a bench, a picnic table, and a secret project that will be unveiled later.
When asked to describe the benefits of living in Gallipolis to someone who was considering moving here, she commented on the quality of the school systems and the advantage of living in a small historical town.
“It’s a tight knit community,” said Willet. “It may be small but we’re all close and we’re willing to take care of each other.”
The Queen and her court will spend the next year representing Gallipolis as they travel to different festivals, parades and events together. The winners also received a variety of scholarships, including a $1,000 scholarship for the Queen from the University of Rio Grande.
“I’m thankful for the support of my friends and family,” said Willet. “They helped motivate me and get me ready. I’m so thankful for everyone and I can’t wait to begin my good reign.”