Halle Sullivan enjoying third reign as a Peach Queen

Published 6:00 pm Saturday, December 23, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

2017 Miss Junior Peach Queen Halle Sullivan is no stranger to the Peach Pageant, hosted by the Clanton Lions Club.

She held the titles of Little and Young before securing the Junior Miss title back in June.

“You definitely learn more and as you go, you have people you look up to, like my Miss,” Sullivan said. “Then, you have the little ones that look up to you and it’s better each year.”

She said as Junior Miss, “You have a lot more responsibility and you have little ones watching you and every move you make and you just want to be a good example for them so maybe one day they will want to be a peach queen.”

Sullivan competed in the Peach Pageant for the first time in 2009 at the age of five. In 2011, she won her first crown and was named Little Miss Peach.

As Little Miss, she enjoyed participating in parades.

“I always wanted to sit up in the front, and I would always pretend to be my Miss, which was Jill Vinzant,” Sullivan said. “She was a real big help because I loved just being with her every day.”

A highlight of each reign is delivering Chilton County peaches to the Governor. Sullivan said it has been a different governor each time she participated.

After her experience as Little Miss, Sullivan wanted to try for the Young Miss title when she became eligible. Queens crown their successors the year after they are crowned and then have to wait until they are old enough for the next category before they can compete again.

She won the Young Miss title in 2015.

Sullivan said a highlight of her year as Young Miss was helping serve hot cider to visitors at the Governor’s Mansion.

“When I was Young Miss, I gave a girl who had cancer a doll,” Sullivan said. “She didn’t have any hair, and then as she grew hair the doll grew hair.”

Today, at age 13, she says “it’s crazy” how much has changed.

She said the Queens did not attend as many events when she was Little Miss.

The sashes have also changed a lot.

“We went to a food bank as one of my first events as Junior Miss and it was a lot of fun,” Sullivan said.

She said they boxed items and saw what workers “had to go through every day.”

Sullivan said being a part of the projects has helped her get a lot of community service hours and scholarships, both of which will be helpful in attending college. Sullivan plans to attend the University of Alabama and become a lawyer.

Shanda Bowen, Halle Sullivan’s mom, said Sullivan liked “lipstick and high heels” at an early age.

“I love getting to dress up,” Sullivan said. “Getting my hair and makeup done is always fun and getting to pick out a dress and casual wear.”

Bowen said she liked the Peach Pageant’s emphasis on giving girls good role models and the means to go to college. She said the program also provides the queens with added accountability.

Sullivan said she has also enjoyed making new friends through the pageant. Camaraderie among the queens has been a constant throughout her experience.

While she has studied information about peaches in preparation for questions, Sullivan said she has not gotten a lot of questions.

“I only got asked about peaches one time and that’s when I was Young Miss, and they asked me how I liked them and I just said, ‘In peach cobbler,'” Sullivan said.

A preliminary interview has remained a constant for the pageant. Sullivan said her first-year competing did not go well “because I talked entirely too fast.”

During the interview on the year she won, the judges asked whether she was nervous and her mom’s advice.

The junior interview focused on bio, including college and career goals as well as her interest in dance.

Sullivan is a student at Clanton Middle School. She hopes to compete for the Miss Peach Queen title when she is eligible.