POINT PLEASANT — What a difference a year makes.
It was an emotional return to the podium for Brandy Barkey Sweeney as she once again led the Battle Days Pageant after illness and a subsequent heart transplant sidelined her for last year’s event.
Though, she wasn’t sidelined for long.
It was a packed house for the pageant held at Trinity Christian Community Center that also doubles as a benefit for Mason County Toys For Kids, which provides toys for children at Christmas. Barkey Sweeney has been involved with the charity since she was a child and dad Jerry Barkey, who helped emcee the pageant, is one of the original Jaycees who are left who help with the cause.
Barkey Sweeney finally was able to share the pageant stage with her 2014 court, which was chosen while she was in a hospital room in Pittsburgh watching the event via Skype last year. That court includes Miss Battle Days Bekah Sargent, Young Miss Battle Days Emily Keefer, Junior Miss Battle Days Kira Henderson, Little Miss Battle Days Gracyn Stein. The 2014 pageant was presented by Barkey Sweeney’s friend Aimee Stein, a co-director of the Mason County Fair Pageant. Barkey Sweeney called Stein to the stage and thanked her for stepping in last year.
Of course, this year, a whole new court was crowned and is ready to support this weekend’s Battle Days Celebration. That court includes the following: Miss Battle Days Maggie Criste, Young Miss Battle Days Kate Henderson, Junior Miss Battle Days Emily Bale, Little Miss Battle Days Hadleigh Cossin, Little Mr. Battle Days Caleb Heib. The group will appear at this weekend’s festival and in Saturday’s Battle Days parade which begins at 11 a.m. on Main Street in Point Pleasant.
Other winners at the pageant include, by division:
Little Miss: First Runner-up Lyndee Taylor, Second Runner up Kaylee Nance.
Junior Miss: First Runner-up Kadann Bonecutter, Second Runner-up Alexia Jefferson, Miss Congeniality Natalie Bailes, Most Photogenic and People’s Choice Award Cierra Rollins.
Miss Battle Days: First Runner-up Erykah Roach, Second Runner-up Conner Grady, Miss Congeniality and Most Photogenic Kyra Riffle, People’s Choice Award Maggie Criste.
Also performing at the pageant were the Black Knight Dance Force Team and Brandon Sweeney.
Helping make the pageant happen were sponsors Farmers Bank, John Sang Ford, Deal Funeral Home, Aimee Stein, Mason County School Counselors, Pleasant Valley Hospital, Shutter Creations Photography, Delyssa Edmonds, Four Seasons Florist, The Wolf 93.1, Peoples Bank, ICL-IP America, JP Simpkins – Game Over Fitness. Volunteers and others who have helped with the pageant were Kaylee Weaver, Angela Roach, Trinity UM Church, Jericho Self-Storage, Aimee Stein, Andrea Henderson, Battle Days Festival Committee, Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church, Jon Loudin, Emily Keefer, Marketta Crum.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.