Community Interest

The 2023 New Melle Festival Queen – Jordyn Burbes

On Friday, June 9, Jordyn Burbes was crowned the 70th Queen of the New Melle Festival. Congratulations Jordyn! Three other Pageant honors were awarded to the First Alternate – Avery Smith, Kate Hunt – Second Alternate and Miss Congeniality – Lilly Murphy. There were eight candidates this year that participated in the Pageant Program. 

The Pageant program is a tradition that has continued over the years. Jordyn will receive a $750 scholarship to continue her education. 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. This year’s judges were Heather Erwin, Kaci Lueking and Shawna Hugo. Donnie McCloud, the creator of the New Melle 411 Facebook page, emceed the event.

The retiring 2022 New Melle Festival Queen, Miss Maggie Molitor of Wright City, joined the candidates for the Pageant. Maggie is the daughter of Larry and Amy Molitor. Since being crowned last summer, Maggie has continued to excel in her studies. She is a member of the 2023 Francis Howell High School graduating class and has plans to obtain a degree in graphic design at Missouri State University. Maggie was honored to be selected as the 2022 New Melle Festival Queen and is grateful for the opportunities this program has provided. She hopes the current candidates have enjoyed their time, and they should be proud of their hard work this pageant season. 

Maggie, we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, and thank you for proudly representing our community. 

The eight candidates in this year's Pageant:

Jordyn Burbes - Winner of the 2023 New Melle Festival Queen Pageant. Jordyn is the daughter of Matt Burbes and Mandi Beasley and the stepdaughter of Leslie Gustafson. She will enter her senior year at Francis Howell High School this fall. Jordyn is very excited about both her senior year and following her dream of becoming a lawyer. Jordyn wishes to attend UCM in the fall of 2024. Her idols are her Grandparents, Connie and Jerry Burbes, and her Dad, Matt Burbes. Jordyn is so happy to have these people in her life and is grateful for everything they have taught her. The Catala House sponsored Jordyn

Avery Smith – 1st Alternate Winner – daughter of Andrea and Ian Smith. Avery will enter her senior year this fall at Francis Howell High School, where she participates in many clubs and activities. She hopes to attend William and Mary University in Virginia and pursue a degree in Political Science on the pre-law track. Twisted Sugar sponsored Avery. 

Kate Hunt – 2nd Alternate Winner – daughter of Ryan and Julie Hunt. This fall, Kate will be a senior at St. Dominic High School. Kate plans to attend St. Charles Community College with the A+ Program and receive her Associate's Degree in Business. She has dreams of owning her own franchise in the future or joining the National Guard. Intelligent Plumbing Solutions sponsored Kate. 

Lilly Murphy – Miss Congeniality Winner – is the daughter of Jeff and Leah Murphy. Lilly will be a member of the senior class at Francis Howell High School this fall, where she is active in academics and athletics. She hopes to pursue a degree in the field of graphic design. Living the Dream Outdoor Properties sponsored Lilly.

Tammy Deason is the daughter of Nan and Ernie Deason. This fall, Tammy will be dual-enrolled as a Francis Howell High School senior and a sophomore at St. Charles Community College. Tammy plans to graduate in the Spring and earn her associate's degree at St. Charles Community College. Her plans after graduation involve attending Mizzou in hopes of starting her career as a large animal veterinarian. Rende Contracting sponsored Tammy. 

Avery Gibbs, the daughter of Shannon and Mark. Avery will be a senior at Francis Howell High School and is currently dual-enrolled at St. Charles Community College. Avery plans to graduate with her associate's degree in biology by the time she finishes high school. She will then further her studies at Purdue University to pursue her career goal as a veterinarian.  Kolb Grading sponsored Avery. 

Elisabeth Grethey, the daughter of Tim and Jamie. Elisabeth will be a senior at Francis Howell High School this fall. Her plans include attending Mizzou. She is undecided about her career choice but is contemplating pursuing a career in elementary education. Red Beauty Salon sponsored Elisabeth.

Julia Joerling, the daughter of Jason and Jennifer. Julia will be starting her senior at Francis Howell High School this fall. She has not decided which college to attend; she intends to play softball at the college level while pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian. Porky Joerling Trucking sponsored Julia. 

A special honor was given to Carla Brakensiek during the Pageant, for her support for the program and this community. Jenna Murphy, Pageant Coordinator, said this about Carla, “She has a personal and professional mission to welcome all and to make anyone that walks in the door feel at home. Carla wants people to feel invited to the party – ALWAYS. Several years ago, she opened her business within our community, bringing radiant sunshine to many, blossoming connections among strangers, and maybe even a mimosa or two to passersby. 

Catala House has become more than a storefront and is truly a staple in our community, especially to this Pageant. You have blessed our community with positivity and sunshine. 

Catala House has sponsored seven queen candidates throughout the years. Thank you for all your mentorship of the candidates and your continued friendship with so many within the program. Carla, we truly appreciate you, and New Melle is undoubtedly a brighter and better place because of you!”

The candidates and coordinator of this year's Pageant would like to thank their sponsors and Dr. Paul Moore of New Melle Dental for sponsoring the Pageant shirts, New Melle Sports and Rec, Peoples Savings Bank for sponsoring the ticket printing. Rachel Closson Photography for the radiant candidate photos. Pomp Events and Rentals for the beautiful stage setting. The New Melle Fire Department for allowing the queens to hold a car wash and bake sale at Station #1. And finally, the outstanding judges who donate their time during the months leading up to this event. 

On behalf of the 2023 New Melle Festival Queen Pageant, they would like to thank everyone who supported the 2023 candidates and the Pageant itself. 

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Jordyn celebrating with her Dad.

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Jordyn Burbes  the
2023 New Melle Festival Queen

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Left to Right - Tammy Deason, Avery Gibbs, Elisabeth Grethey, Little Mister Carter Murphy,
2023 Queen – Jordyn Burbes, 2nd Alternate – Kate Hunt, Julia Joerling,
Miss Congeniality – Lilly Murphy and 1st Alternate – Avery Smith.

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Carla Brakensiek received honors for her support
of the Pageant and this community.