Tour de ’Berry
by Danny Wade
Humboldt rolled out the strawberry red carpet last Friday inviting Strawberry Festival royalty and dignitaries to their companies for some hometown hospitality. The annual West Tennessee Strawberry Festival City Tour was the kickoff event for this year’s festival.
Local festival royalty attending this year were Hostess Princess Hadley Lindsey along with her court, 1st Maid Logan Cloud, 3rd Maid Camryn Brown and 4th Maid Maddy Harris; and Junior Hostess Princess Anna Laura Bell. (Second Maid Amanda Simmons was unable to attend.)
Territorial royalty on the City Tour were Territorial Queen Bentley Gordon, 1st Maid Macy Garner, 2nd Maid Loral Winn, 3rd Maid Carrie Willis and 4th Maid Hannah Bland. Other Territorial queens were Miss Teen Territorial Ashlyn Collins, Junior Miss Territorial Jolee Morgan and Little Miss Territorial Cacie Jo McNeal.
Strawberry Festival and city dignitaries on the tour included Festival President Melissa Swingler and her husband, Lyle, General Chairman Chelsea Caraway and her husband Gary, honoree Mary Key Roe with her husband Bill, Humboldt Mayor Marvin Sikes, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Love, and festival photographer, Danny Wade.
Everyone with the tour met up at the Humboldt Chamber at 8:20 a.m. before walking across the street to the mayor’s office for breakfast. After breakfast, Mayor Sikes and his staff presented each of the royalty with strawberry necklaces.
Everyone loaded onto the bus heading to Stigall Primary School’s Montessori program. Everyone was amazed watch these three, four and five-year-olds work on their own while under the supervision of lead teacher, Alisha Parramore, and assistant teacher, Tamika Willis.
Hostess Princess Lindsey and Territorial Queen Bentley Gordon read to students.
Chicago Metallic was the next stop on the schedule. Plant manager, Ed Zelenka and his staff, gave a guided tour through the plant that make commercial baking pans. They displayed specially designed pans customized for several of the national chain restaurants. The staff gave each member of the tour a gift set of baking pans and other Chicago Metallic merchandise.
The next stop on the tour was lunch with the Humboldt Rotary Club in the Humboldt Medical Center conference room where the club meets each Friday. Rotary president, Christine Warrington, welcomed the large group of guests. Several of the royalty’s mothers joined in for lunch. President Swingler presented the program for the club after everyone enjoyed the buffet lunch along with strawberry shortcake for dessert. Swingler introduced everyone on the tour.
After lunch, the group loaded back on the bus and headed down Hwy. 45 to Pratt Industries located in neighboring Three Way. Bob Graning welcomed everyone then staff members took everyone on a tour through the facility that make corrugated board boxes. After the tour, each of the royalty young ladies were presented customized gift baskets made at the plant.
The next last stop of the day was visiting Down on Main Street, a girls’ and ladies’ boutique. The girls enjoyed browsing and shopping all the fashions and accessories.
The tour wrapped in downtown Humboldt at City Gift. Owner Debbie Goodrum had gifts for each of the young ladies and a very special gift for Honoree Roe, the previous owner of City Gift.
The Strawberry Festival City Tour is always a fun, but long day. These dignitaries and royalty served Humboldt well as ambassadors to the city. It also gave members of the territorial royalties from out-of-town to get a first-hand look at the Strawberry City they are representing.