Harvest Festival Queen


Queen and Court Picture







HOWARD CITY — The 2013 Howard City Harvest Festival Queen and Princess pageant was held Aug. 13 at Tri County High School.

Meagan Bean, 16, was crowned Harvest Festival queen.

Bean, the daughter of Tim and Paula Bean of Howard City, will be a junior at Tri County High School this fall. After graduation, she plans to major in child development and child protective services and minor in music.

First runner-up was Hannah Akey and second runner-up was Ricki Batenburg.

Article by Elizabeth Waldon of the Daily News


2012 Pageant Winners








Newell, 18, was crowned the 2012 Howard City Harvest Festival queen Tuesday night at Tri County High School. She is the daughter of Dawn and the late John Edward Newell.

Wearing a flattering daffodil yellow dress with sparkly black high heels, her dark hair cascading down her shoulders, Newell impressed the judges with her confident attitude and style. She spoke eloquently about having overcome many challenges in her young life, including the loss of her father, in addition to numerous injuries.

Looking to the future, Newell, a biology major, said one day she sees herself opening an optometry clinic just for children, with a fun atmosphere. She said she wants to be a role model for young women.

“I want to show the girls of this town that being confident will take them farther than anything,” she said. “I want young girls to take their future into their hands and be who they want to be, not who someone else thinks they should be.”

Nina Hadley, 16, the daughter of Linda Hadley, was crowned first runner-up after a tie-breaker with Newell. The two young women each had to give an impromptu speech before judges Jeffrey Sluggett, Norma Sower and Leslie Wood decided on a winner.

Article by Elizabeth Waldon of the Daily News


From L to R: 1st Runner Up Angela Gray, Queen Kailey Grospin, 2nd Runner Up Kaitlyn Geers
Front: Princess Autumn McCoy

Kailey Grospin refuses to take “no” for an answer.  The 18-year-old had her heart set on royalty Wednesday night and she was crowned Harvest Festival queen.  The annual Harvest Festival will take place Sept. 17 in downtown Howard City. Sarah Vuillemot is outgoing queen, while MaLeea Neely is outgoing princess.

The daughter of Eric and Nickole Grospin wore a cheery yellow gown and showcased an enthusiastic personality. She wowed the judges – Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard, State Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, and attorney Jessica Wood – with her passion for opening up her own psychiatric practice after attending the University of Detroit Mercy.

When asked what she liked about herself other than her physical appearance, the Tri County High School student replied, “I like the fact that I’m very outgoing and I stand out in a crowd and I’m not influenced by others.”

Of all periodicals, Grospin would most like to grace the cover of Time magazine.  “It shows that you are proud of what you do, successful and people want to know more about you,” she said. Angela Gray, 18, was named first runner-up, while Kaitlyn Geers, 18, was named second runner-up. Seven girls competed for the title of princess, but Autumn McCoy easily came out on top.

The 6-year-old daughter of Ben and Amber McCoy was resplendent in a pink glitz gown. When asked what her life would be like as a real princess, she charmed the audience of about 50 people with her elaborate answer, which included, “I would live in a big house and watch TV and do whatever I feel and if I had room I’d get a fish and I’d name him Sleepy because he would sleep all day.”

Other princess contestants included Katie Busch, 6, Ava Gould, 8, Madalynn Laskey, 5, Savanna Lovell, 6, and the Mallory sisters Eve, 5, and Ivy, 7.

Maureen Baker and Paula Hagstrom hosted Wednesday’s pageant. Musical entertainment was provided by Howard Wilson and Todd Zamarippa.

Article by Elizabeth Waldon of the Daily News



From Left to Right:
2nd Runner Up Daytona Niles, Queen Sarah Vuillemot, 1st Runner Up Ronna Kilts

Future cancer doctor crowned Harvest queen

By: Elisabeth Waldon

Staff Writer

HOWARD CITY – Sarah Vuillemot has long planned on becoming a pediatric oncologist, or “a doctor for kids,” as she is quick to explain.

“I’ve said I wanted to be a doctor since I was 4 or 5, my mom tells me,” said the 16-year-old Tri County High School junior.

Vuillemot not only has a shining future ahead of her – she now has a shining crown. She was named the 2010 Harvest Festival queen at the fifth annual pageant Tuesday night at Tri County High School.

The daughter of Patrick and Michele Vuillemot, the teenager plays the French horn in high school band, participates in Odyssey of the Mind and high school plays and is active as a preschool helper for Sunday school at church.

Vuillemot moved a lot during her young life, living in eight different houses over the years. She said Howard City was different, as community members treated her like family.

“As soon as I came here I was welcomed,” she said. “I want to represent Howard City as Harvest Festival queen in order to give back to the community that has given me so much.”

The eloquent young woman answered some tough questions from judges L. Quinn Lincoln, Julie Stephens and Kristy Stevenson.

When asked how the United States could better promote volunteerism, she answered, “I think that the people that volunteer in the area and in the United States get involved in it, but they don’t get each other involved in it. I think they need to tell others about it, the fun they have and they fulfillment they receive from it.”

When asked if she could have one wish, she gave a practical response: “I think I’d wish that it was not as hard to get into a medical school and be a doctor, because I know it’s hard.”

And when questioned what a man’s role is in today’s society, she answered positively while making sure to emphasize strong women: “I think a man is there to protect the wife or the girl. A man is there to be a partner and to help and to make everything a little easier, but they’re not there to rule over everything.”

Daytona Niles, 16, the daughter of Joe and Glenda Niles, was named second runner-up while Ronna Kilts, 17, the daughter of Rick and Ruth Kilts, was named first runner-up.

Outgoing queen Elena Smith, who is headed to Michigan State University this fall, gave the three contestants some advice before the pageant began.

“Get to know your court,” she said. “Take lots of pictures because they’re great memories. Make sure to wave with both hands. And always do this when you’re smiling and it gets a little tight.”

Smith sucked in her cheeks, then made a popping sound with her mouth, much to the audience’s amusement.

The pageant was coordinated by Paula Hagstrom and hosted by Janet Bozewinkle. The second annual princess pageant will take place Tuesday night at Christ the King Catholic Church in Howard City.

The eighth annual Harvest Festival will be Sept. 18 in downtown Howard City. Visit www.howardcity.org online for a complete schedule of events.


From Left to Right:
2nd Runner Up Kellyn Vos, Contestant Aylsia Bennett, Queen Elena Smith, 1st Runner Up Krista Van Dyke
Photo by: Captured Moments Photography

Youngest competitor named queen of Howard City’s Harvest Festival

By Elisabeth Waldon

HOWARD CITY – The youngest of four contestants vying to be Harvest Festival queen turned out to be the most outstanding.

Elena Smith, 16, was crowned the village’s newest queen at the annual pageant Wednesday night at Zellie’s Opry House.

Krista VanDyke, 17, the daughter of Rosemarie Ells and Mark VanDyke, was named first runner-up; Kellyn Vos, 18, the daughter of Bill and Pam Vos, was named second runner-up; Aylsia Bennett, 18, the daughter of Marc and Pam Bennett, also participated.  Zellie’s owner Terri Grannis emceed the evening. Paula Hagstrom and Cheryl Scott organized the event.

Smith, the daughter of Mary Ann and Howard Wilson and Terence Smith, is a member of the National Honor Guard, color guard, concert band, Quiz Bowl and Student Council and president of her class at Tri County High School. She is active at her church, tutors first-graders in Spanish and recently attended several leadership conferences after being recommended by teachers at her school.

“I’m very busy, but if I wasn’t busy I’d be bored,” Smith told judges Amy Norton, Julie Stephens and Kristy Stevensen.  During the interview segment of the evening, Smith named peer pressure as the biggest problem young people face.  “I think if we have good friends then we don’t fall under peer pressure,” she said.

Smith shone during her presentation, “Why I want to represent Howard City as the Harvest Festival queen.” She recalled living next door to MacNaughton Elementary School as a child before her family moved to Edgerton Street, “the heart of our village.” She now resides just outside of town.

“I’ve enjoyed growing up in Howard City,” Smith said. “It’s been encouraging to see all the new businesses open up over the past few years. Howard City is making a lot of progress and I’m glad I live here.”  Smith succeeds Katelyn Inman, the daughter of Scott and Mary Inman, as the new queen.

The seventh annual Harvest Festival takes place Sept. 19 in downtown Howard City.


From Left to Right:

Nichole Evans (first runner up), Katelynn Inman (2008 Harvest Festival Queen)

Katelynn Inman, the 17-year-old daughter of Scott and Mary Inman, was crowned Harvest Festival Queen on Wednesday, Aug. 27 at Latitudes Restaurant in Howard City.

Katelynn is a senior at Tri County High School.  She participates in girls’ varsity track and is captain of the dance team.  Katelynn plans to attend Grand Valley State University fro television broadcasting.  Her career goal is to work for MTV or TRL in New York City.

First runner up is Nichole Evans, a 19-year-old sophomore at Ferris State University.  She is pursuing a degree in legal studies and is preparing for a career as a paralegal.  Nichole played soccer in high school and currently plays in an adult league.  She has worked at the Timothy C. Hauenstein Library in Howard City since she was in high school.

This was the third annual Harvest Festival Queen Pageant and it again was sponsored by the Downtown Development Authority.  The queen receives a $500 savings bond and the runner up receives a $250 savings bond.


From Left to Right:
Kaylee Gould (first runner up), Kateari Boyd (2007 Harvest Festival Queen), Danielle Hagstrom (second Runner up)2006The 2006 Howard City Harvest Festival queen and her court include, front row from left, Heather Boden, first runner-up Alison Goodyke, Harvest Festival Queen Pammie Bremmer, second runner-up Jeana Longoria, and Kayla Nisonger; back row from left, Jessica Butler, Janel Hackbardt, Danielle Hagstrom and Brittany Houseman.