WAXAHACHIE — As spring transitioned into summer, awakening the colorful hues of the crape myrtle blossoms, the Queen of this year’s Crape Myrtle Festival was crowned.
The announcement came during the annual Crape Myrtle Queen's Tea on June 29.
“It was so much fun to look out and see all these ladies in their hats and dressed all in pink, and this is the 19th year we have crowned a queen,” expressed Bonney Ramsey, former 2004 queen and chair of the Crape Myrtle Festival and Parade Counsel.
What began in 1999, has turned into a treasured tradition, honoring women who have not only contributed toward the festival but in the Waxahachie Community, as well.
“Unfortunately, we’ve lost some really incredible women who were past queens,” Ramsey acknowledged the former 18 recipients listed.
The annual all-pink event was held inside the Crape Myrtle Room
at the Waxahachie Civic Center with over 30 attendants enjoying hors d’oeuvres, champagne and a bit of mingling before the coronation began.
Every year, a chosen candidate is presented by the Crape Myrtle Council for notable achievements within and outside of their festival involvement.
“This particular queen, it’s impossible to list all of her achievements and her contributions to the community,” expressed Sherry Dyess, 2016 Crape Myrtle Queen, to the audience.
Through an original poem, entitled "2017 Crape Myrtle Queen," Dyess read aloud as the room remained in suspense as to who would wear this year’s crown.
“My year as queen has come to an end, oh, what an honor it has been,” Dyess began. “Now we pass the crown to one helpful and true, who makes Waxahachie better for me and for you. She serves our city for hours untold, and offers her home at our beckon call.”
“We praise her desire to always step in, and bring a tear to all with her precious grin. She has touched the hearts of so many and inspired us all. Having given so much it is easy to see, why the Crape Myrtle Queens did agree to honor you, Nancy Hightower,” she announced.
With applause echoing off the walls, Hightower received an honorary plaque and was crowned with a tiara by Dyess as the 2017-2018 Crape Myrtle Queen.
Hightower has served as a member of several community boards throughout her life, such as the Waxahachie Chautauqua, Baylor Scott and White Medical Center – Waxahachie, Waxahachie Community Development Corporation, and, of course, the Crape Myrtle Festival and Parade Council.
“I’m so glad,” Nancy Hightower expressed her gratitude. “I’ve always loved Waxahachie, and I know they do too, and I’m so glad to have been there. You couldn’t have so many nice people in one room at one time.”
As the legacy continues to uphold outstanding women, the new reigning queen will be featured in the festival’s Fourth of July parade.
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer