June 15, 2016
For Immediate Release
By Josh Christian, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.-- In tiaras, ball gowns and under stage lights, Campbellsville University’s Kendall Riddle, a senior from Campbellsville, Ky., represented the university at the 86th annual Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival and was crowned first runner-up to the KMLF queen recently.
“For Campbellsville University to feel as if I am a proper candidate to represent the university in such a traditional and wholesome event, I was completely honored,” Riddle said.
Riddle was crowned queen of the Valentine’s pageant at Campbellsville University in February. The Valentine’s Queen annually represents the university at the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival in Pineville, Ky., which was May 26-29.
Kendall Riddle, a senior at Campbellsville University from Campbellsville, Ky., was first runner-up at the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival. (Photo by Joe Harris, Pineville, Ky.)
“In representing my peers, I felt so special,” Riddle said. She said her weekend was filled with large amounts of encouragement from friends via text message. She said this “helped me be myself.”
Riddle was escorted by Nathan Davis, a Campbellsville University sophomore from Florence, Ky.
Jordan Smith, season nine winner on the NBC television program The Voice, kicked off the festival with a live performance on the first day of the weekend-long event.
The festivities began with booths, carnival rides and downtown entertainment, concluding with a fireworks display.
Saturday, May 28 began with a 5k run before the Kentucky Utilities Gala Parade took place. Queen candidates took part in the parade as they sat on the back of sports cars and waved to surrounding crowds. A luncheon honoring Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin was held before candidates were crowned.
Conner Rose Cook, queen candidate representing the University of Pikeville, was crowned queen. Sarah Hutchinson, queen candidate representing Centre College, was second runner-up. Candidates also attended the Queen’s Ball where they had the opportunity to meet the community and attend a dance.
A breakfast was on Sunday that concluded the festival.
Kendall Riddle, a senior at Campbellsville University, right, was escorted by Nathan Davis, a sophomore at Campbellsville University from Florence, Ky. Riddle was first runner-up in the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival. (Photo by Joe Harris, Pineville, Ky.)
Riddle said the pageant was a learning experience.
“I have learned I have the ability to share God’s love just by my action and my humility. I have learned how to step out of my comfort zone and be myself,” Riddle said.
Riddle also said she would encourage the future Valentine’s Queen to “be yourself.”
“If you are a sweet and humble person who shows God’s love through your actions then you will not only have good chances of becoming a KMFL Queen, but you will make so many friends at the festival and enjoy your experience so much more. It is an experience you’ll never forget,” Riddle said.
The Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival was founded in 1931 by Annie Walker Burns of Pineville, Ky. Burns created the festival to honor Dr. Thomas Walker, a family ancestor and pioneer explorer.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering over 80 programs of study including 24 master’s degrees, seven postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.
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