Miss Peach reflects on year with title

Published 8:03 pm Monday, June 15, 2009

For the first time in 13 years, the Miss Peach pageants will be without a familiar face among the contestants.

“I haven’t missed a year since I was 5 years old,” Keeley Patterson, current peach queen, said.

Since Patterson was crowned last June, she has realized just how demanding being a queen can be.

“I’ve truly realized that it is a job,” Patterson said. “It’s a job you have to be committed to. You have to love what you are doing.”

It is a job that offers unique connections and opportunities.

Patterson said she has been able to meet several state officials and has traveled to and attended events across the state.

“We went to the peanut festival in Dothan,” Patterson said. “We got to ride in the parade.”

Patterson has also attended many county functions and ribbon cuttings and visited the farmers’ market, but she said her favorite event was one that the Poultry Association held on the capitol lawn.

“They cooked omelets for us there,” she said.

Patterson has learned many lessons from her time as peach queen.

“I think the most important thing I’ve learned is that I have more knowledge of my county and where I come from now,” Patterson said. “I can represent my county better.”

Patterson said the best thing about Chilton County is the friendly people.

“I feel like Chilton County is a county full of family,” she said.

Patterson added the experience had many advantages.

“I had more and better opportunities than other people because of this,” Patterson said.

As her reign draws to a close, Patterson will miss being involved in the Miss Peach pageants, but will welcome the extra time.

“I’ll be sad,” she said. “I’ll be relieved that my schedule will free up a little bit.”

Patterson’s advice to the incoming peach queen is to be well prepared to represent the county, be prepared to be busy, and be a positive roll model for younger kids.

Although Patterson is nearly finished with her duties as peach queen, she is not finished participating in pageants. Patterson will represent Alabama in the Miss Teen United States pageant in July.

Patterson will be a freshman at Mississippi State University in the fall, where she will major in biological sciences.