The Rotary Club of St. Charles Parish recently held a farewell luncheon for its 2019 and 2020 Alligator Festival Queens – Breanna Dominguez and Isabella Daspit – as a way of thanking them for their over two years of serving as ambassadors for the festival.
The two queens had extremely non-traditional roles because of the coronavirus pandemic and Hurricane Ida, Rotary Public Relations Chair Kelsey Pollock said, but added that the women adapted well to the changes in their reign.
The last pageant was held in Sept. 2019, and the queens went on to reign over the 2019 Alligator Festival, which is also the last festival that was held. The 2020 pageant and festival were cancelled due to the pandemic, and due to the cancellation and limited reign the queens had the festival committee decided to allow the 2019 queens to reign for another year.
Just as Rotary was prepared to bring back both the pageant and festival in 2021, Hurricane Ida devastated the area and the festival committee was left with no other choice than to cancel the pageant and festival for the second consecutive year.
“When the 2021 pageant was cancelled, the festival committee agreed that the 2019 queens had more than fulfilled their duties and commitment to the festival and that it was time to allow them to pursue other opportunities,” Pollock said. “The festival committee also recognized the importance of having an ambassador and did not want to forego having a queen until the 2022 pageant. It was then proposed to allow our outgoing Teen Queen, Isabella Daspit, to assume the role of our new Miss Queen.”
Pollock said that because Daspit had done such a phenomenal job representing the festival in her role as teen queen and was now the appropriate age to become a miss queen, the festival committee was in full support of promoting her to this new role.
“Isabella will represent the Alligator Festival at the 2022 Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals in February and will continue her reign promoting the Alligator Festival until the 2022 pageant slated to be held in September,” Pollock said. “Under normal circumstances, the Alligator Festival Queens are expected to represent and promote the festival at several local fairs and festivals and are encouraged to travel across the state as they are invited to other fairs and festivals.”
She added the Alligators Festival Queens are also expected to attend Rotary Club of St. Charles Parish events and participate in the club’s service projects such as Thanksgiving baskets distribution and collecting toys for the St. Charles Parish’s Christmas Toy Drive.
“As festivals and fairs were being cancelled due to COVID related restrictions, both queens came up with creative ways to still promote the festival through social media,” Pollock said. “After Hurricane Ida, both queens collected disaster response supplies and also helped distribute meals to the community on multiple occasions.”
Daspit said she was shocked at the luncheon when she was crowned the miss queen, and that she is thrilled to be involved in the Rotary organization for another year.
“I would encourage everyone to come out the last full weekend in September to the 2022 Alligator Festival,” she said. “It’s a really good time.”
Dominguez said she wouldn’t change a thing about her reign, even though it was greatly impacted by the COVID pandemic.
“That portion was kind of difficult, but I definitely didn’t want to waste my reign and the opportunity I had,” she said. “My relationship with the St. Charles Parish Rotary is so special to me and a lot of the Rotarians are like family to me. My time with them is no longer, but I’m trying to find ways to help them where I can. I was able to experience something that wasn’t meant to be two years.”