Deshotel prepares to relinquish Miss Ville Platte title
By: HEATHER BOGARD
Reigning Miss Ville Platte Ashlyn Elizabeth Deshotel, who will relinquish her title Saturday evening, May 3, will never forget the night she won her title last year. She recalls, “I had no idea I was entering until a week before the pageant. The first award I received was Miss Photogenic. Then, they called out second runner-up, first runner-up and then my name and number.” She add, “I began to tremble because it was a great feeling and I knew I had big shoes to fill.”
Deshotel was no stranger to the pageant world before winning this title, as she has previously held several other titles, including Pre-teen Miss Ville Platte in 2001, Deb Miss Viande Boucanée in 2003, and Teen Miss Mardi Gras Gumbo in 2006. She also has held runner-up and alternate honors in many other pageants, including Cotton Blossom princess and Deb Miss Cotton Lace.
Competing in pageants and holding titles has become a family tradition that began with her grandmother, Melba Deshotel, who held the Tournoi Queen title in 1959. Deshotel’s aunt, Melissa Deshotel, also held the Tournoi title in 1981. Lisa Guillory Deshotel, Ashlyn’s mother, was named Lady of Tournoi princess in 1982 and an alternate for the Miss Ville Platte title in 1983.
Throughout her reign, Deshotel has had the opportunity to travel to many festivals across the State of Louisiana, including the Bunkie Corn Festival, where she won a corn shucking contest and a flip flop decorating contest. She also attended the Cajun Music Festival in Lake Charles, where she learned to two-step; and the Smoked Meat Festival, where she won a spatula decorating contest. Other festivals and events she attended include Christmas on the Bayou the Cracklin Festival, the Church Point Mardi Gras, Miss Allen Parish, Louisiana Cotton Festival, Louisiana Tournoi, Miss Evangeline Parish, Boggy Bayou Festival and the Catfish Festival.
She says of her travels, “I have had many miles of fun. One of the highlights was when I was able to compete for the Cotton Festival title.” She also says throwing the opening pitch for the All-Stars was another memorable moment. She recalls with a laugh, “At that point I surely didn’t know they were going to the national competition. They could tell that I lived all of my life in high heels after throwing that pitch.”
The 18-year-old daughter of Jonathan Mark and Lisa Deshotel of Vidrine, Deshotel is a 2007 Evangeline Parish graduate and is currently pursuing a degree in nursing. She is the granddaughter of Melba and James B. Deshotel and Darnell and Jeanette Guillory of Vidrine.
During her high school years, she was involved in many activities, including nine years in 4-H. While in 4-H, she served as program chairman for two years and as junior leader in fashion and modeling for one year. She attended 4-H University and received a scholarship from the 4-H Club. When she’s not busy with school, she has many hobbies to keep her occupied, including sewing and design, playing guitar, modeling, scrapbooking, photography and spending time with friends and family. She also enjoys traveling to different areas to learn about new cultures and share her culture with others.
“It was truly an honor to represent Ville Platte,” Deshotel proclaims, “I have gained many friends and I will miss my rhinestone sisters. These are memories I will always cherish. So thank you, Ville Platte, for allowing me to accomplish so much this year and for allowing me the honor of representing my hometown.” She adds, “I would like to thank my family and friends for their help and support throughout my reign. I would also like to especially thank the ABWA (American Business Women’s Association) for being great sponsors.”
Deshotel encourages other young ladies to enter the pageant in the future by saying, “This is a great opportunity to further your education and gain so many cherished memories. The scholarship that I have won certainly is greatly appreciated and will be used for my next semester in college.” She continues, “So, go for it girls! Put your high heels on and smile pretty!”