A community newsletter serving New Melle, Defiance, Augus​ta, Marthasville, Dutzow​​ a​nd surrounding areas.

The 2024 New Melle Festival Queen - Katie Thwing

On Friday, June 7th, Katie Thwing was crowned the 71st New Melle Festival Queen. She and six other candidates participated in this year's pageant. Katie is the daughter of Richele and Tim Thwing and will receive a $750 scholarship. She is a senior at Francis Howell High School and intends to pursue a degree in Business Leadership at the University of Central Missouri. Aisling Med Spa sponsored Katie.

The first alternate was Trista Smith, the daughter of Robert and Tanya Smith and will receive a $150 scholarship. She is a senior at Francis Howell High School and a student in the Health Sciences Program at Lewis & Clark Technical School. After high school, Trista will decide whether to attend St. Charles Community College or Lindenwood University. She plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and become a Pediatric Surgeon. Catala Facial Retreat sponsored Trista.

The second alternate was Madelyn Bouquet, daughter of Brent and Jennifer Bouquet. Madelyn is a Francis Howell High School senior and plans to attend MO State University and earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Business while she decides on a career. Peoples Savings Bank sponsored Madelyn.

Miss Congeniality was awarded to Bailey Burbes, daughter of Matt Burbes and the stepdaughter of Leslie Gustofson. Bailey is a senior at Francis Howell High School and plans to become a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse. She is also a recent graduate from the St. Charles County CAPS Healthcare Program, which provided her with experience in the healthcare field during her junior year of high school. Porky Joerling Trucking sponsored Bailey.

Bridget Goins, daughter of Dennis and Trisha Goins is a St. Dominic High School senior. She is deciding between a teaching or business degree and plans to attend St. Charles Community College through the A+ program and then further her education at Maryville University. The New Melle Professional Firefighters sponsored Bridget.

Jenna Smith, daughter of Gary and Kati Smith, is a senior at Francis Howell High School and in her 2nd year at Lewis & Clark Technical School in the Welding Program. She plans to attend the American Welding Academy in Union, MO to pursue a career in welding. The Red Beauty Salon sponsored Jenna.

Bella Cruz, daughter of Patricio and Erin Cruz, is a senior at Francis Howell High School. Bella plans to pursue a career in veterinary surgery at Washington University in St. Louis during the fall of 2025. Aiello Homes, Inc. sponsored Bella.

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(L-R) Madelyn Bouquet, Bailey Burbes, Bella Cruz, Katie Thwing,
Bridget Goins, Jenna Smith and Trista Smith.


The Pageant also took a moment to honor the retiring 2023 Festival Queen, Jordyn Burbes. She is the daughter of Matt Burbes and Mandi Beasley and the stepdaughter of Leslie Gustafson and Dustin Rowlens. Jordyn, a recent Frances Howell High School graduate, is now preparing to attend St. Charles Community College as she carefully considers the right University for her. She dreams of becoming an elementary school teacher, a role she hopes to fulfill at Daniel Boone Elementary, just like her Nana.

Jordyn expressed her gratitude for meeting new community members at various events over the past year and for making new friends while participating in the pageant. She thanked her family, her sponsor, Catala Facial Retreat, and the Pageant Program Coordinator, Jenna Murphy, for their guidance and support.

The Pageant Program is a tradition that has continued over the years. The winning candidate is chosen based on a combination of points acquired from community service, community involvement, ticket sales, poise, personality, responsibility and judge interview questions. Thank you to this year's judges, Heather Erwin, Kaci Lueking, and Shawna Hugo. Thanks also to Samantha Brague, the 2020 New Melle Festival Queen, for serving as the master of ceremonies.

Special thanks to Adam and Paul Mittler for the lighting and to Pomp Events and Rentals for providing the stage decor. A big thanks to Jenna Murphy for her fantastic work as the Pageant Program Coordinator every year. Finally, thanks to everyone who contributed to another successful year of the New Melle Festival Queen Pageant.

Congratulations to Katie and all the 2024 New Melle Festival Queen candidates for their hard work and dedication to the program.