A large crowd of festival goers attended the first night of the 2017 Louisiana Cotton Festival Tuesday night at the Ville Platte Civic Center. The highlights of the night were the crowning of the King and Queen of Heritage Manor Nursing Home and the showcasing of the young Contredanse dancers. Cotton Festival Association Board President Pat Derousselle was the emcee. KVPI FM 92.5 was there covering it live for our lsiteners.
The new 2017 Heritage Manor King is James Brown, age 80 of Plaisance. He has two children, three grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He loves fishing and hunting and playing his harmonica, fiddle and accordion. He replaces the late Eldridge Vidrine, last year’s King. The first runner up to the King was Allen Ardoin age 94 of Grand Prairie. He has one child, three grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. He was raised on a cotton and corn farm. He is a Navy veteran and operated the Evangeline Electric Fixit Shop for many years.
The new Queen of Heritage Manor is Hazel Ortego age 91 of Grand Prairie. She was an LPN for 30 years. She has 3 children, 6 grand children and 12 great grandchildren. She was raised on a farm with her siblings. She replaces outgoing Queen Gertrude Soileau. The first runner up to the Queen was Marjorie Chapman, 80 year old resident of Mamou. She was a beautician for 27 years. She has 7 children, 19 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren. She was also raised on a farm.
Another major highlight was the presentation of the Contredanse dancers all comprised of young pre teen dancers doing the Cajun square dancing. The dancers this year are: Grace Bordelon, the daughter of Melanie and John Bordelon; Beau Fontenot, son of Shelly and Joey Fontenot; Kaden Ardoin, son of Nicholas and Erica Ardoin; John Bordelon, son of Johnny and Melanie Bordelon; Stephanie Vidrine, the daughter of Caralire and Jason Vidrine; Peyton Fontenot, son of Ebony Fontenot; Marcus Sam, son of Donald and Christina Sam; Ashlynn Thibodeaux, the daughter of Daniel and Courtney Thibodeaux; Lillian Stanfield, the daughter of Justin and Destiny Lafleur; Susan Lafleur, the daughter of Justin and Destiny Lafleur; Hannah Arabie, the daughter of Dustin and Miranda Arabie; Deana Blankenship, the daughter of Bruce and Sharon Blankenship; Marlinskie Viltz, son of Wesley Winfrey and Sharin Wiltz; Joshua Williams, son of Vasean and Jamie Williams; Baleigh Williams daughter of Vasean and Jamie Williams; Kaislyn Lafleur, daughter of Michelle Brown and Jeremy Lafleur; Leslie Forman, son of Kim Leger and Shanendoah Forman; Bailey Edmund, daughter of Elizabeth Edmund and Zoey Goudy, daughter of She’re and Julian Goudy. The dancers were under the direction of Anita Fontenot and Melanie Soileau.
Among the festival royalty in attendance was Col. Cotton Bernard Lebas.
The dancers danced to the music of Lennis Soileau and the Country Playboys.