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A royal lineage continues in Phil Campbell, as 2021 Watermelon Queen Katie Thomas (left) is crowned by 2019 Watermelon Queen Anna Benford (right). Both girls are Phil Campbell High School graduates.

Melon majesty: Pageant names Watermelon Queen

“I have been in this pageant since I was little, and it’s such a big honor to be chosen as queen. I have enjoyed not only competing but also making new friendships along the way.”

That was Katie Thomas’ reaction to being named the 2021 Watermelon Queen at Saturday’s Franklin County Watermelon Festival Beauty Pageant.

Thomas is graduate of Phil Campbell High School. She will be attending Blue Mountain College in the fall.

The 2019 Watermelon Queen, Anna Benford, crowned Thomas. Benford is also a Phil Campbell High School graduate, and she is currently working as a math educator for Northwest-Shoals Community College.

“The Chamber is pleased to be able to hold the pageant again this year,” said Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Director Cassie Medley. “Last year’s event had to be canceled due to COVID-19, and I’m so happy the girls once again had the opportunity to participate in this well-established Russellville tradition.”

In addition to her Watermelon Festival appearances in August, the Watermelon Queen will be in the Franklin County Christmas parade and will crown the 2022 Watermelon Queens.

Medley said 92 girls competed this year, from 4 months to 18 years old. “Each age category will have a queen introduced at the opening ceremony of the Watermelon Festival Friday night and at the Roxy Saturday morning,” Medley said.