By Jan White
LOVELADY – It didn’t take long for the parents, students, teachers, and friends packing the Lovelady gym to learn who won the honor of being named 2022 Lovefest Queen. The ceremony, which took place on Thursday, Feb. 10, began with a welcome by Emcees Alexis Bodden and Ace Easton, who moved quickly to the first order of business – introducing last year’s Queen and this year’s Royal Court.
2021 Lovefest Queen Kyra Rogers was escorted to the stage area by crown bearer Hayes Davidson and Flower Girl Ariel Bird. Then the rest of the procession began. Seventh Grade Princess Zoe Burdett, escorted by Bryson Franklin and Eighth Grade Princess D’Janayah Simpson and her escort CJ Wiley followed. Then, making their way to the stage were the candidates for Lovefest Queen: Freshman Libby Ray and her escort James Gatlin, Sophomore Aaliyah Jones and her escort Oscar Sutton, Junior Courtney Spoerle and her escort Seth Enos, and Senior Magali Castillo and her escort Conner Martinez.
Emcee Alexis Bodden explained that the 2022 Queen was chosen from the accumulated scores of a written essay and an impromptu four-minute speech. Ace Easton then took to the mike and announced, “And now the moment we have all been waiting for – the 2022 Lovefest Queen is Ms. Magali Castillo, representing the Senior class.” Following her crowning by former Queen Kyra Rogers, Ms. Castillo, escort Conner Martinez, and the rest of the Royal Court took their places on stage to watch the evening’s entertainment.
The program began with Pre-K and kindergarten students performing a dance routine to Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog,” followed by a duet of “High Hopes” by Emma Yauger and Christina Ray. Next up, Ledisi Taylor and Crew and their backup singers and dancers performed a routine to Beyonce’s “Halo.” Louis Armstrong’s chart-topper “What a Wonderful World” was the backdrop for the first and second-grade performance. Then the action kicked up a little with a feisty routine by The Git Up Dancers, followed by Billy McMillan’s rendition of George Strait’s “Heartland.” Seth, Remington, and Clara Dagle delivered a foot-stomping, hand-clapping version of “My God Fights For Me.” The third and fourth grade performed to the jazzy hit “L.O.V.E.” and the evening concluded with Quade McLaughlin’s percussion accompaniment to the KISS classic “Rock and Roll All Night.”