Drake crowned Miss Alabama Strawberry Festival

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Cullman High School Senior Siddalee Drake was crowned Miss Alabama Strawberry Festival on Saturday, April 13, 2024. (Cheyenne Sharp)

CULLMAN, Ala. –  Cullman High School’s Siddalee Drake was crowned Miss Alabama Strawberry Festival at the Alabama Strawberry Festival Pageant on Saturday, April 13, at the Desperation Church Student Center across from Depot Park. The annual pageant is a showcase of the area’s sweetest beauties, in preparation for the statewide summertime staple, the Alabama Strawberry Festival, which will take place May 3-4.

The pageant had two divisions, the younger of which highlighted potential pageant queens aged birth to kindergarten. The larger division was saved for grade school-aged children and teens through grade 12. Seating was a hot commodity in the center’s auditorium, as the support of the community showed out and left little but standing room.

New concierge medical practice, Hawkins Medical & Wellness, sponsored the event, with Jacy Hawkins acting as emcee.

“Welcome to the Alabama Strawberry Festival Pageant,” she said. “We’ve come together to celebrate the spirit of the Strawberry Festival in Cullman. We have a wonderful day ahead, full of beauty, elegance and grace.”

Each age category was packed full of contestants, all dressed in sparkling colors. Older girls had lush curls, dazzling earrings and perfected walks, while the infants and younger girls donned open-mouth smiles and bows and walked with chaperones. Parents, caregivers, friends and family all crowded together just off the edge of the stage to catch their participant’s attention and solicit a smile to sway the judges.

Although each contestant was given a crown, a queen and two alternates were chosen for each of the nine age divisions. Side awards were voted on by the panel of judges, as well, with an award for most photogenic, prettiest hair, prettiest smile, prettiest eyes and best dress given in each of the aged groupings.

In the end, only one queen could reign supreme, with Cullman High School senior Siddalee Drake winning the title of 2024 Miss Alabama Strawberry Festival.

Other winners included:

  • Infant Miss Shortcake (0-11 months)- Kolbi Sage Wray
  • Baby Miss Shortcake (12-24 months)- Shelby Morris
  • Toddler Miss Shortcake (2-3 years)-Hadlee James
  • Tiny Miss Shortcake (4 years- kindergarten)- Layla Katherine Weldon
  • Little Miss Shortcake (grades one and two)-Aria Katherine Mixon
  • Young Miss Shortcake (grades three and four)- Harper Grace Scott
  • Miss Pre-Teen (grades five and six)- Kabri Lee Wilson
  • Miss Junior Strawberry (grades seven through nine)- Lainey Gerstman

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