Blanchard crowned Miss Iberville at tea

Special to The Post South

Anna “Annie” Blanchard, the 19-year old  daughter of Dr. and Mrs. G. Michael Blanchard of St. Gabriel, was crowned “Miss Iberville Parish” on June 12 at a tea hosted by Jennifer Womack and the Plaquemine Service League at the Sugar Cain Inn, a local events venue owned by Melissa and Walter Cain. 

Annie Blanchard was crowned “Miss Iberville Parish” at a tea June 12.

Everyone enjoyed the hospitality of the Plaquemine Service League members among the fresh garden arrangements and roses adorning the inn. The roses and flowers were contributed by League members, who also prepared a delicious assortment of hors d’oeuvres including sandwiches, fresh fruit, cheeses, sweets and lemonade served during the tea. 

Special guests at this year’s tea were Evangeline 2020, Emma Hargrove, Miss Iberville 2001, Clare Maddox Berthelot and Miss Iberville 2008, Lauren Kessler. 

Shown with Madeline Kessler, Iberville Parish Director for the LA Sugar Cane Fair & Festival Association, center, are Plaquemine Service League members, Jennifer Womack, tea assistant and hostess, Bonnye Kessler, tea chairperson and also tea assistants, Courtney Alvarez and Chantel Dunn.

Seven young ladies competed for the honor of representing Iberville Parish as “Miss Iberville” at the annual Louisiana Sugar Cane Fair and Festival held in New Iberia Sept. 23 through 26. Several Louisiana parish queens will compete for the coveted title of “Queen Sugar.”  

Participants in this year's "Miss Iberville" contest are shown L to R: Julia Russell, Alli Desselles, Mikayle Bouquet, Annie Blanchard, Kennedy Passantino, Gabriela Vince and Catherine Carline

Contestants and their mothers applauded as Lakyn Morales, “Miss Iberville 2019,” presented a bouquet of roses and crowned the new queen, Anna “Annie” Blanchard, “Miss Iberville Parish 2021.”

First maid and “Iberville’s Sweet,” was Kennedy Passantino.  The queen and maid were presented roses and banners made by Service League members.

“Miss Iberville Parish 2021,” Annie Blanchard, will participate in and attend many festival events Sept. 24 through 26. 

“Queen Sugar” will be chosen by a panel of judges for her personality, beauty, poise and intelligence from among the participating sugar producing parishes. Parish sugar queens will reign over the festivities with “King Sucrose” and represent the sugar industry throughout the year. The festivities will culminate with the pageant, Coronation and Ball. 

All parish queens will ride in the “Sugar Growers and Their Royalty” parade with the newly crowned “Queen Sugar” and “King Sucrose” proudly reigning over Sugarland.

Blanchard, is the 19-year old daughter of Dr. G. Michael and Tricia Blanchard of St. Gabriel. She has a passion for human rights and criminal justice reform and is doing research in the field. She loves to sing and has received vocal training for five years. She also enjoys dance, musical theatre, playing the piano and ukulele, painting, watching documentaries, working out and spending time with her family and dog. She has done public speaking training for many years and voiceovers for St. Joseph’s Academy and Theatre Baton Rouge.  Annie is also a trained writing tutor, having written for the magazine 225 and worked as a research assistant on a novel.  She is a 2020 graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy and currently attends Florida State University, where she majors in Criminology and Political Science.

FIRST MAID, “Iberville’s Sweet,” Kennedy Passantino, is the 19-year old daughter of Pam and Jason Passantino of Plaquemine. She loves animals and likes to bake, is good with children and is the head door keeper in her sorority (Phi Mu). Her hobbies include spending time with her family, DIY projects with her dad, sewing, traveling, going to their camp with her dad, riding four wheelers and hunting. She is compassionate, loyal, outgoing, responds well to situations, is good at math and is able to lead a group well. She is also a 2020 graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy and currently attends University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she majors in mechanical engineering. Other contestants in this year’s program included Mikayle Bouquet, Catherine Carline, Alli Desselles, Julia Russell and Gabriela Vince.

Judges for the 2021 tea were Shelby Cannon, Lauren Field and Carla Rivet.

Cannon was born and raised in Albany, Louisiana and now resides in Zachary.  She graduated from Vanguard College of Cosmetology in 2018 and became a licensed cosmetologist in 2019.  She is employed at La Belle Vie Salon in Denham Springs and is also the managing partner in other ventures.  She has been involved in the pageant industry since childhood, competing in many pageants and holding numerous titles. Working as a hairdresser has allowed her to remain in the pageant industry without competing, like she has planned.

Field is a native of Baton Rouge but moved to St. Francisville in 1992 to start her own business, Upland Cotton, a women’s retail clothing and accessories store.  She studied Fashion Design at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and graduated from LSU in 1988 with a B.S. in Fashion Merchandising.  When her second child was born in 1997, she decided to close her business and focus her time and attention on her family.  Lauren and her husband, Rob, have since raised four children in the West Feliciana Parish School System. In 2007, she went to work for St. Francisville Area Foundation as Executive Director.  Next to God and her family, her passion is serving her community.  She is a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church and has served in various church ministries including Pastoral Council, Finance Council, Youth Ministry and Lector.  To keep her entrepreneurial and merchandising spirit alive, she opened her own business, Cotton Exchange, in 2019 inside The District Mercantile, where she sells clothing, accessories and vintage and home goods.

Rivet is on the Louisiana Farm Bureau Women’s Executive Committee.  She lives in Morganza in Pointe Coupee Parish with her husband, Ricky.  They farm sugar cane, soybeans and  wheat and have a commercial cow/calf operation.  She is a retired medical professional who is very active in her community.  She is a board member of the Morganza Cultural District, Catholic Daughters and will serve as chairperson for the “Farm Day 2021” in October.  She loves being with her family, riding her horse, Lady, and traveling.

Bonnye Kessler, Sugar Cane Tea Chairperson for the Plaquemine Service League, along with the continued help and support of Nealy LeBlanc, organized and coordinated the contest together with her assistants, Courtney Alvarez, Chantell Dunn and Jennifer Womack, along with LA Sugar Cane Fair & Festival Association Iberville Parish Director, Madeline Kessler.  The “Miss Iberville” contest would not be possible without the volunteer support of the Plaquemine Service League and the funds generated by the Andrew P. Gay family through generous contributions from local sugar cane growers, Cora Texas Sugar Mill, Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr. and the Iberville Parish Council as well as local businesses and industries.