First-ever unwed Asparagus Queen to be crowned tomorrow night

May 30, 2014

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

SHELBY — For the first time in 40 years, an unmarried Asparagus Queen will represent Oceana County.

Three local single women are vying for the title, and one of them will be crowned Saturday evening during the Asparagus Queen Pageant in the Shelby High School Auditorium.

Formerly Mrs. Asparagus, the Asparagus Queen is now a single, modern woman. Festival officials decided in 2012 to do away with the marriage requirement and allow both married and unmarried women to compete. Since the change took place, only one single woman ran for Asparagus Queen and none have been elected. But this year, all three candidates are single so a single Asparagus Queen is guaranteed.

Candidates are Erin Fischer, 29, of New Era; Danielle Kokx, 24, of Hart; and Pearl Stevens, 43, of New Era. Fischer is the chief assistant prosecutor for Oceana County; Kokx is a crop advisor for Helena Chemical in Shelby; and Stevens is a full-time student at Muskegon Community College.

The Asparagus Banquet kicks off tomorrow evening’s festivities at 5:30 p.m.  The delicious meal will be provided by New Era

Christian School’s PACE group — Parents Active in Christian Education. The pageant begins at 7 p.m.

Master of Ceremonies is Kirsten Kelly, an award-winning documentary film and theater director who currently lives in Brooklyn,

New York. Kelly grew up on an apple, cherry and asparagus farm in Shelby. She and filmmaker Anne de Mare founded Spargel Productions in 2002, to make their first feature documentary, “Asparagus! Stalking the American Life,” about Kelly’s hometown, Oceana County and the asparagus industry. The pair recently launched their second feature documentary, “Homestretch,” about homeless high school students in Chicago Public Schools. The film will air on PBS national broadcast in the spring of 2015.

Judges are former Oceana County Fair Board member and Assistant Secretary for the Oceana County Agricultural Society Cheryl Abson of Hart; Shelby Village Administrator Aaron Desentz of Shelby; and 2002 Asparagus Queen Sonya Hernandez of Muskegon, who won several other beauty pageants during her career and did some professional modeling.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased on www.nationalasparagusfestival.org on the Banquet & Pageant page.

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