The lights went down at 6 p.m. Tuesday night in the St. James Middle School gym for the first Little Mr. and Miss St. James Pageant. It was one of the opening events for the 84th Annual St. James Grape and Fall Festival, presented by the St James Chamber of Commerce.

The lights went down at 6 p.m. Tuesday night in the St. James Middle School gym for the first Little Mr. and Miss St. James Pageant. It was one of the opening events  for the 84th Annual St. James Grape and Fall Festival, presented by the St James Chamber of Commerce.

Under the direction of Beth McWhorter, business owner and St. James Chamber vice-president, the production started on time with an introduction of the nine contestants—the kick-off for “Country Nights, Carnival Lights.”

The first contestant was Gabriel Roberge, son of Paul and Erica Roberge and grandson of Paul and Sharon Seddon and Kathy Raymond. Gabriel’s favorite color is dark blue. His favorite food is pepperoni pizza and his favorite thing to do for fun is play with friends at school When Gabriel grows up, he says he wants to be a police chief, because he’s five [years-old]. He’s a man with a vision!

Contestant number two was Tara Murphy. She is the daughter of Sean and Kimberly Murphy and the granddaughter of Greg and Kathy Ulrich, Dave and Lilia Murphy and Diane Murphy. Tara’s favorite color is blue. Her favorite food is steak and for fun, she loves to play games. When she grows up, she wants to be a horse-rider, because she likes horses.

Contestant three was Olivia Clark. She is the daughter of Josh and Megan Clark and the granddaughter of Mike Cox, Pam Russell and Joyce and Derrell Clark. Olivia’s favorite color is pink, her favorite food is McDonald’s and her favorite TV show is Sponge Bob. When Olivia grows up, she wants to be a princess.

Contestant four was Abigail Sherfy. She is the daughter of Justin and Latoyia Sherfy and is the granddaughter of Doug and Lisa Sherfy and Tammy and Eugene Bunton. Her favorite color is Hot Pink, her favorite food is pizza and her favorite movie is Moana. When Abigail grows up, she wants to be a stay-at-home mom because moms are more fun!

Contestant five was Harper VanBibber. Harper is the daughter of Spencer and Megan VanBibber and the granddaughter of Kevin and Michele Whitener, Mark VanBibber and Pat O’Shaugnessy. Harper’s favorite color is teal, her favorite food is chocolate chip cookies and her favorite movie is ‘Frozen.’ When Harper grows up, she wants to be a babysitter because she likes to play with kids and take care of them.

Contestant six was Grahym Felan. Grahym is the son of Dustin and Julie Felan and the grandson of Larry and Susan Morris and Gabe and Tami Felan. Grahym’s favorite color is blue.  His favorite food is mac and cheese and his favorite animal is a giraffe. When Grahym grows up, he would like to be a dump truck driver because he loves to dump rocks and destroy things.

Contestant seven was Piper Sandusky. Piper is the daughter of Ryan and Becky Sandusky and a big sister to little brother Ryker. Piper is the granddaughter of Brian Sandusky, Delayne Lancaster and David Snelson. Piper’s favorite color is blue, her favorite food is ice cream and ribs and for fun, Piper likes to spend time with family. Piper wants to be a teacher when she grows up because they’re kind of fun.

Contestant number eight was Bristol Hancock. She is the daughter of Josh and Brittany Hancock and is the granddaughter of Mima Kimmy Barr, Paw Paw Bobby Morris, Mimi Barb and PoPo Velmer Hancock. Bristol’s favorite color is pink. Her favorite food is steak and her favorite movie is Moana. When she grows up, she wants to be a doctor because they save people.

The last contestant was Sydni Howdeshell. She’s the daughter of Gabe and Trish Howdeshell and granddaughter of Don and Marilyn Licklider and Larry and Dottie Howdeshell. Sydni’s favorite color is silver, her favorite food is mac and cheese and her favorite animal is the cheetah. When Sydni grows up, she wants to be a face painter so she can use her imagination.

Each Little Mr. and Miss contestant took a turn for the judges and awaited the announcement of the winners. The St. James Grape and Fall Festival Queen for 2016-17, Cassie Cantrell, who also sang the opening National Anthem for the evening, took the honors to crown the winners.
The Little Mr. First Runner Up was Gabriel Roberge. The Little Miss First Runner Up was Sydni Howdeshell. Finally, it was announced the Little Mr. St. James for 2017-18 is Grahym Felan. Also, the Little Miss St. James is Bristol Hancock.