By MARGIE NETZEL - email@example.com
For the Star Beacon
Miss Grapette 2012 Katie Peck watched the 2013 pageant contestants with bittersweet tears in her eyes.
Peck traveled to 52 festivals across Ohio as Miss Grapette, serving as a representative of the city and the agricultural region of Ashtabula County. She relinquished her crown to Emily Deering last week, passing on the 50-year-old tradition of Miss Grapette to another court.
“Katie really took what it means to be Miss Grapette to heart,” pageant director Chrissy Jeppe said. “She gave it everything she had and we are very proud of her.”
Peck only participated in Miss Grapette pageants – she didn’t enter other beauty competitions.
“My goal was to be Miss Grapette so I could represent Geneva,” she said. “This was never about titles or crowns for me.”
Peck said the reality of the crown was as amazing as she dreamed it would be.
“The reality of being Miss Grapette truly did live up to my dream.,” she said. “Being Miss Grapette was everything I ever thought it would be and much more! I enjoyed every minute of my reign and was so proud to represent a festival and community that both mean so much to me.”
Sisterhood is part of the Miss Grapette experience for the entire court and the rest of the division winners of the pageant, Peck said.
“I loved every moment that I spent with my Grapette sisters,” she said. “ We always had so much fun together. My Miss Grapette journey has been more than I could have ever imagined.”
Peck said she has some advice for Deering, who will now travel to state festivals and represent Geneva as Miss Grapette.
“My advice is to take in every moment and make the most of your year, because it goes by faster than you could ever imagine,” she said. “Even though the crown and sash are wonderful, remember that is not what being Miss Grapette is all about. It is about representing the Grape Jamboree at other festivals and events throughout Ohio and it is about being proud of the Grape Jamboree and giving back to your community to the best of your ability.”
Peck would like to thank her years-long sponsor, Bilicic Busy Mart, Grape JAMboree President Dave Johnson, Jeppe, JAMboree committee members Crystal Bradbury and Jim Bradbury and the rest of the Grapette parents.
“My grapette sisters will be my close and special friends forever and I want to say thank you for all the fun times and memories,” Peck said. “I have to thank my family for their love, support, and terrific times. They experienced every festival with me.”
Peck said she holds the community in her heart as she says goodbye to the life of Miss Grapette.
“I would like to thank Geneva for allowing me to represent such a terrific and friendly community. It has been a great honor,” she said.