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First new Peach Queen crowned

Queen and her court: Dale’s court included Lexi Kate Hayes, first alternate; Leelah Penley, second alternate; Dori Lawrence, third alternate and coloring contest winner; and Maggi Beth Harrison, fourth alternate. (Photos by Brandon Sumrall)

Queen and her court: Dale’s court included Lexi Kate Hayes, first alternate; Leelah Penley, second alternate; Dori Lawrence, third alternate and coloring contest winner; and Maggi Beth Harrison, fourth alternate. (Photos by Brandon Sumrall)

The first member of new peach royalty was crowned Saturday, as Mary-Henning Dale was announced as 2016 Little Miss Peach.

Dale, 5, was crowned at the Chilton County High School auditorium by former queen Lexie Deavers.

Dale’s mother, Wendy Dale, said her daughter reacted as if a dream had come true: “I just can’t believe it,” Wendy Dale recalls Mary-Henning saying. “I can’t believe I’m Little Miss Peach.”

Dale’s court includes Lexi Kate Hayes, first alternate; Leelah Penley, second alternate; Dori Lawrence, third alternate and coloring contest winner; and Maggi Beth Harrison, fourth alternate.

New queen: Mary-Henning Dale was crowned 2016 Little Miss Peach at the pageant Saturday at Chilton County High School.

New queen: Mary-Henning Dale was crowned 2016 Little Miss Peach at the pageant Saturday at Chilton County High School.

Three more Peach Queens will be crowned in pageants this week: Young Miss Peach on Monday, Junior Miss Peach on Tuesday and Miss Peach on Thursday.

All pageants begin at 6:30 p.m. on their respective days at the CCHS auditorium. Admission is $6.

Dale competed in Little Miss Peach last year and was named third alternate, her mother said.

Wendy Dale said the experience definitely helped. Another contributing factor to Dale’s win may have been her outgoing and fun-loving personality that manifests itself on stage.

“She has a lot of fun on stage—that’s kind of her thing,” Wendy Dale said.

Dale said her daughter began participating in pageants at age 3, including state and even a national pageant.

“We go with the attitude that you have fun, and you win some and you lose some,” Dale said and added that Mary-Henning is always eager to participate. “I had to start limiting her; I told her we can only do one a month.”

The new queen is looking forward to free ice cream from Peach Park, a perk that comes with being a queen, but she also wants to help others through community service.

“She’s excited to ride on the float (in the Peach Parade) and in suspense to see who her sisters will be,” Wendy Dale said.

Mary-Henning Dale was sponsored by Twirly Hen Boutique and attends Clanton Elementary School.