(Seguin) -- Guadalupe County is introducing its newest member of royalty. Taylor Maberry, of Marion, has been crowned as the new 2017 Pecan Queen. Maberry will represent not only the county but also the Texas Agricultural and Heritage Center and Pecan Museum of Texas.
Maberry, a high school junior homeschooled by her parents Bill and Abbie Maberry, says she was thrilled to earn the title during this year's Pecan Fest & Heritage Days celebration at the Big Red Barn.
"They called my name. It was actually my best friend. She was the Pecan Queen the past year. So her and one of the helpers were announcing the names. They announced my name and I was so excited. I got a huge smile on my face. I got crowned, I got flowers, took a bunch of pictures with the fair queen's and the rodeo queen's for Guadalupe County and I was just so excited. I still can't believe it. I went to the pumpkin patch yesterday and got to put on my crown and take pictures with a bunch of kids. I was just so pleased and I'm so glad that I get to advocate for the Big Red Barn and for the pecan industry this year," said Taylor.
Also competing against Maberry for the title was Seguin High School freshman Georgia Nickel, the daughter of Angela Dickerson and Michael Nickel.
Maberry, says the pageant focused on the pecan crop and its contributions to the community's economy and heritage.
"First, we had an interview early Saturday morning and with me and Georgia, the other contestant, we did one of our speeches. We had to do a six minute speech on pecans. Then, we had our portion of the actual contest where we got to walk around the Big Red Barn in our formal gowns and kind of get to introduce ourselves to everybody as contestants and talk to everybody there. It was so fun. I was so excited. My competition, Georgia, she was absolutely incredible, so sweet. I think --whether I got crowned (or) she got crowned, we both would have been great advocates for the pecan industry," said Taylor.
Maberry, who also serves as a Guadalupe County 4H Ambassador and Texas Livestock Ambassador, says she hopes to utilize all of her positions by sharing what she has learned with others.
"I was absolutely amazed to find out that the pecan trees had been known, had been dated all the way back to the 16th Century. They've been here even before the American Indians and the first settlers were they based their whole food, their whole nutrition around this one -- that when they came here. So I just think that that's absolutely incredible that we have that history with us today. Some of the same trees that we harvest from today are the ones that fed those settlers and North American Indians. I think that's just incredible. It's not really brought to the public very much. I don't think very many people know that and I would like to be able to educate everybody on that especially the nutrition that the pecan has. It's been known to be a health food. It has a ton of health food nutrients -- all the other kind of stuff like that actually our body needs and I don't think that everybody knows that. So I'm kind of excited that I get to go on a public platform and tell everybody about that," said Taylor.
The local pageant was resurrected a couple of years ago after similar contests that were held in the 60s and 70s.
Events at the Big Red Barn were held in conjunction with city wide Pecan Fest events. They included but not limited to the annual Hats Off to Juan Seguin, Pub Crawl, Saints Alive Cemetery Tour, Trade Days and Healthy Nut Fun Run/Walk. The annual event is designed to celebrate Seguin and everything pecan.