The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Aug. 8, 2022

Burchfield named Queen Jubilee XXXVII

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Queen Jubilee XXXVII Alex Burchfield (center) is flanked by Rebecca Adam (left) of Lincolnview, first runner-up, and Jenna Gasser of Paulding, second runner-up. More photos will be in Tuesday's independent. (photos by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

The new Peony Festival queen is Van Wert High School senior Alex Burchfield, who was crowned Queen Jubilee XXXVII during Friday night’s pageant at The Marsh Foundation Auditorium.

Burchfield, who plans to attend the University of Dayton in the fall majoring in public relations, said she was excited about winning the title and also the $1,200 college scholarship that goes with it. But the personal side of the pageant was even more important.

“I am so appreciative to the judges, it was a lot of fun, but meeting the girls was honestly the best part,” Burchfield said. “I’ve made a lot of friends and they’ve been wonderful; we’ve all been so supportive of each other.”

Rebecca Adam of Lincolnview was first runner-up and matched Burchfield in scholarship money by also winning the talent portion of the pageant with a piano rendition of “Over the Rainbow.” The title of first runner-up includes an $800 scholarship, while talent winners earn $400 in scholarship money.

Although Adam was this year’s talent winner, pageant officials also remembered 2010 winner Shirissa Seibert, who died tragically November 9, 2011, from injuries sustained in a car accident. The talent portion of Friday’s event was dedicated to Seibert and a video of her performance two years ago was also shown to a standing ovation. Something similar could likely take place this evening during the “Ohio Has Talent!” event at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, since Seibert was also the 2011 winner of that competition.

Second runner-up on Friday was Jenna Gasser of Paulding High School, who earned a $600 scholarship, while Wayne Trace High School senior Ashley Goeltzenleuchter was named “Miss Congeniality” and earned $250 in scholarship money.

Burchfield, the daughter of Martin and Susan Burchfield of Van Wert, also said it was nice to return the title to Van Wert.

Queen Jubilee XXXVII Alex Burchfield promenades following her crowning Friday at the Marsh Foundation Auditorium.

“I’m just really honored to have this opportunity to take this crown back to my school,” Burchfield said, adding that her dancing and stage experience was a plus in the competition.

“I’ve been dancing since I was 4 and I give a lot of credit to dancing and Kim Hohman for giving me that great stage presence,” she said. “Van Wert Drama Department has been phenomenal and we’ve had so much fun, and I think I was most excited to get out here tonight with people and just perform and just show it off.”

Burchfield is very much involved in school and community activities. She is a member of First United Methodist Church in Van Wert, and is student body president, editor of The Cougar’s Roar newspaper and a member of choir, Beta Club, Student Council, Globally Active People and Service Pack at VWHS, and also helps with the Blessings in a Backpack program.

The night also spelled the end of Queen Jubilee XXXVI Mari Young’s reign. Young performed the clogging routine she did last year and also made her final promenade prior to the naming of her successor.

Judges for the pageant were Cindy Brandehoff, Emily Hart, Walter Kinsey and Kevin Sandler, while Ed Gebert was master of ceremonies for Friday’s competition. With the preliminary judging and essay also a big part of the pageant tabulation, those judges, Cara Hall, Scott Edwards and Cheri Streicher, also played a big part in deciding the eventual winner.

Escorts for the pageant were Noah Gebert, Lucas Myers and Derrick Echoles, while ushers included Hayley Walker, Lexie Walker, Laine Spoor, Rebecca Welker and Madison Pugh (click here for a list of sponsors for the event).

As he has for the last 16 years, local CPA J. Richard Sealscott was auditor for the pageant, and quickly tabulated the results for the 2012 event.

As they have for the past several years, the flower girls who bring out peonies to the Peony Pageant contestants again threatened to upstage the older girls. Flower girls this year were Katie Sawmiller, Alaina Rush, Aubrey Miller, Jordyn Biberstein, Abigail Shuherk, Debbie Jones and Ava Price. Crown bearer was Kaylee Mollenkopf.

POSTED: 03/31/12 at 12:43 am. FILED UNDER: News