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Peach queens meet Gov. Riley

The Chilton County Peach Queens personally delivered four baskets of their home’s local product to none other than Gov. Bob Riley in Montgomery last week.

Jessica Swindle, Kaitlin Ray, Leah Easterling and Gracie Owens traveled together for several activities that included getting some precious face time with the always-busy governor.

The girls and family members toured the state capital building before visiting with Riley in his office, where each queen presented him with a basket of homegrown peaches and took pictures.

“The queens had a great time,” Charlotte Owens, Gracie’s mother said. “Gracie loved it. We all had a great day. Meeting the governor was her favorite thing.”

Swindle also said she greatly enjoyed meeting the governor.

The queens also visited the Alabama Farmer’s Market, where they participating in both the corn-shucking and watermelon-eating contests and even managed to bring home a pair of titles. Owens won each contest in her age group, and Miss Peach Jessica Swindle also won the watermelon-eating portion.

Young Miss Peach Leah Easterling and Junior Miss Kaitlin Ray competed in the same group together but perhaps had more fun watching Owens handle her business.

“Gracie gulped down like seven pieces of watermelon,” Easterling said. “Kaitlin and I ate six pieces.”

Owens said meeting the governor and visiting Peach Park have marked her personal favorites moments of her summer as a peach queen.

Her mom saw a vigor and playful spirit among the four girls who she feels seem game for whatever comes their way within the next year.

“They’re not afraid to do anything,” she said.

The peach queens will attend a dinner with the Clanton Lion’s Club during the organization’s “Ladies’ Night” event.

Kaitlin Ray could not be reached for comment.