The 81st Buckwheat Pageant Royalty Court docket options First Maid of Honor Piper Slinka-Petka and her escort, runner-up to King Buckwheat Alex Burns.
Slinka-Petka competed for a place on the Buckwheat Pageant Royalty Court docket out of a need to play a task within the Buckwheat Pageant’s coordination and participate in one thing so well-known and revered all through Preston County and West Virginia.
“It’s like a ceremony of passage round right here,” mentioned Slinka-Petka. “And similar to wanting on the Buckwheat Pageant as a corporation, it was one thing that I needed to be part of.”
In doing so, the expertise has opened her eyes to the good affect of the pageant, and simply how many individuals come collectively to arrange and proceed enhancing the occasion that locals know and love yearly.
“Simply attending to be part of the method of the creation and advertising for the Buckwheat Pageant has been very eye-opening to see every little thing that goes into it and the way many individuals round our nation are literally concerned in making the pageant taking place,” mentioned Slinka-Petka. “It’s taught me there’s quite a lot of energy in group.”
In preparations for the pageant and attending group occasions like parades and gala’s, the courtroom has had many alternatives to satisfy people concerned within the pageant, in addition to the group that attends it. This has been one of many biggest highlights of this expertise for Slinka-Petka — witnessing firsthand and persevering with the legacy of the Buckwheat Pageant.
“Simply getting to satisfy folks and with the ability to join with those that have finished this previously and in addition folks which can be going to do that sooner or later. It’s good to have the ability to speak to those that have the identical historical past with it as I’ll have now,” mentioned Slinka-Petka. “It’s confirmed me how a lot even our small city can come collectively to make huge issues occur.”
Slinka-Petka is a senior at Preston Excessive College, the place she is a part of the Nationwide Honor Society, Preston Excessive’s KEY Membership, a varsity cheerleader and a HOSA – Future Well being Professionals state officer.
Burns felt impressed by his mates and love for the Buckwheat Pageant to run for the Buckwheat Pageant Royalty Court docket. The competitors was an expertise that proved difficult at occasions however was all of the extra gratifying because of this.
“Laborious work pays off,” mentioned Burns. “I needed to work arduous to get right here.”
Occasions that the courtroom have attended collectively embody varied parades and gala’s throughout the state, throughout which Burns has loved the time spent with the remainder of the courtroom — particularly when the group stops for ice cream to regroup and calm down after lengthy days.
Burns has been displaying livestock on the Buckwheat Pageant for 9 years, and one among his favourite reminiscences of the Buckwheat Pageant is incomes the title of Lamb Grasp Showman in 2019. Simply as dedication and dedication paid off then, he has utilized the identical values all through his reign on the Buckwheat Pageant Royalty Court docket.
“That was one other instance of arduous work paying off, I’d labored for it for some time,” mentioned Burns. “And simply seeing between then and now, simply seeing the arduous work I’ve put in paying off.”
Similar to many Preston County residents, the Buckwheat Pageant has been an indicator of Burns’ childhood, particularly by his agricultural connections. This makes it all of the extra vital to now have such a significant position within the pageant’s success.
“I’ve all the time been round [the festival] rising up, I’ve had enjoyable doing it,” mentioned Burns. “And to have the ability to be an even bigger a part of it simply sort of means rather a lot.”
As a senior at Preston Excessive College, Burns is a part of the college’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter the place he has earned his Greenhand and Chapter Farmer award and acts as an Assistant Officer. He’s additionally a part of the JROTC Knights Battalion the place he has been a Squad Chief, Platoon Sergeant, First Sergeant and had roles on the Air Rifle and RADIER groups — he’s at present the Command Sergeant Main. He’s additionally a part of the Preston County Livestock Affiliation.