Holiday royalty crowned
Hayden Claire Schexnayder, seated, center, was selected as the 2013 Miss Merry Christmas Thursday night. On hand to celebrate with her were, kneeling from left, Roylene Landry, Hayden’s great aunt; Charley Hebert, Hayden’s aunt; standing, Barrett Schexnayder, Hayden’s father, holding Briggs Schexnayder, Hayden’s brother; Casey Schexnayder, Hayden’s mother; Connie Schexnayder, Hayden’s grandmother; Selma Fontenot, Hayden’s great-grandmother; and Kayla Levy, Hayden’s grandmother.
Hayden Claire Schexnayder of Egan Elementary was crowned as the 2013 Miss Merry Christmas Thursday night at the Eta Kappa Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi’s 48th annual Miss Merry Christmas Pageant held at the International Rice Festival Building in Crowley. Hayden is the 6-year-old daughter of Kacie and Barrett Schexnayder. Her hobbies include gymnastics, painting and playing outside, and she enjoys collecting feathers and rocks. She plans to be a gymnastics teacher one day. The pageant was well-attended this year, and extra chairs had to be added before the event could begin. Leslie Olinger, president of Eta Kappa, welcomed the crowd before handing the microphone over to Jimmy Broussard, who was once again honored to serve as master of ceremonies. The evening began with the presentation of the reigning 2012 Miss Merry Christmas, Klarisse Renay Thibodeaux, followed by the first promenade of the 2013 contestants. There were 28 lovely girls vying for the privilege of riding next to Santa in this year’s Crowley Kiwanis Club Christmas Parade. Entertainment was provided by dancers from the Core Dance Center. Fay Odom, Glenda Young, Margie Abshire and Claire Smith performed a lively number before Summar LeLeux, who is in sixth grade and happened to be a former Miss Merry Christmas herself, performed a fast-paced solo. Special entertainment was also provided by the Redemptorist School’s Bell Choir and was a huge hit with the crowd. After serious and intense deliberation by the judges, 2013 Breaux Bridge Crawfish Queen Anna Angelle, 2013 Gueydan Duck Festival Queen Kelsey Primeaux and 65th Louisiana Cattleman’s Association Queen Victoria Sagrera, the new Miss Merry Christmas and her court were selected. Chosen as the new Miss Merry Christmas’ court were fourth runner-up, Isabella Claire Campbell of North Crowley Elementary; third runner-up, Gretta Katherine LeJeune of St. Francis Elementary; second runner-up, Alex Blair Ancelet of Egan Elementary; and first runner-up, Paisley Alyse Vincent of Redemptorist Catholic School. Other contestants who advanced to the top 10 as finalists selected included Anne Cecilia Dupré, who attends St. Michael Elementary; Timira Gracie Welch, who attends South Crowley Elementary; Kylinn Marie Dupuis, who attends Mermentau Elementary; Mia Kate Guillot, who attends St. Michael Elementary; and Jordyn Elizabeth Gibson, who attends South Crowley Elementary. Also competing as contestants in the pageant were Gracie Gail Sargee of South Crowley Elementary, Addison Grace Brignac of St. Francis Elementary, Amalie Lormand of St. Michael Elementary, Mary Eizabeth Gattle of St. Michael Elementary, Ahna Jolie Fontenot of Redemptorist Catholic, Shailee Claire Trahan of South Crowley Elementary, Devyn Grace Quirk of Iota Elementary, Raelen Sha’Ray DeJean of South Crowley Elementary, Nevaeh Elizabeth Hanks of North Crowley Elementary, Alainah Celeste Perrodin of South Crowley Elementary, Madeline Grace Kibodeaux of Redemptorist Catholic, Kylee Abshire of South Crowley Elementary, Jaylyn Claire Guidry of South Crowley Elementary, Lucy Elizabeth Chisholm of Redemptorist Catholic, Ava Claire Arceneaux of St. Michael Elementary, Macie Ann Royer of Northside Christian School, Madison Claire Manuel of St. Francis Elementary and Anne Elise Swacker of St. Michael Elementary. All of the contestants received certificates and gifts for taking part in the annual community event. This year’s Christmas parade is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, and all of the contestants will be aboard Santa’s float for the festivities.