Two years ago, Whitney Palm came up two spots short of being crowned Old Settlers Picnic Queen, earning second runner-up honors.
On Aug. 7, the Montgomery City resident came out on top.
Palm was named the 140th Annual Old Settlers Picnic Queen in front of a large crowd at the Old Settlers Picnic Grounds in New Florence. She received her crown from 2019 queen Taren Justice.
“It felt really good because I just felt like I didn’t do enough,” Palm said. “I thought I wasn’t going to win. I didn’t sell enough raffle tickets. When I didn’t hear my name being called first or second runner-up, I thought I was going to lose. I didn’t think I had it. When I heard my name, I was like, ‘Well, I got it.’”
El Reagan and Alexa Groeber were named first and second runner-up, respectively. Both will be sophomores at Montgomery County High School this fall.
Emma Doyle, Trinity Fenimore, Haley Heller, Clara Holmes and Alison Rhodes were the other candidates.
Palm, who will be a senior at MCHS this fall, made her third Old Settlers Picnic appearance. She competed in the queen contest for the second time.
“I love it because it’s a small-town thing and it’s about your community, not a bunch of randoms,” Palm said. “So you know everyone.”
Palm said one of her favorite attractions at the event is the queen dunking contest, which is held a day before the queen contest. Patrons pay $2 for six attempts to dunk the queen candidates in the water.
“It was cold at first until you got your hair wet,” Palm said. “No one wanted me to hold on to the fence, so I was the only one who got my whole hair soaked.”
Palm and the other candidates started preparing for the queen contest in July. They practiced every other Thursday answering questions and sold plenty of raffle tickets.
“It was a lot of work,” Palm said.
At the queen contest, each contestant gets to answer one question. Palm came up with an answer to the question, “What would be the one thing that I could change in the world?”
“I told them that dogs will never die,” Palm said. “My dog (Zeus) is my best friend.”
Palm moved to Montgomery County from Houston, Texas, in 2013. She won numerous pageants and competed in little princess contests while living in the Lone Star State.