On October 7, Southeastern freshman Heidi Carrier will relinquish her title as the Tangipahoa Parish Fair Queen as the Tangipahoa Parish Fair returns for its 129th celebration as the oldest fair in the state of Louisiana.
Carrier’s festival pageant career began whenever she was just six weeks old. Not so coincidentally, she captured her first title as the Baby Miss Tangipahoa Fair Queen.
Throughout her youth, she competed for and held various titles throughout the festival and glitz circuits. She is an elite member of the pageant community for achieving a title in every fair and festival throughout Tangipahoa Parish.
Heidi’s mother, Wendy Carrier, cherishes the memories she has of her daughter under the bright lights of the pageant stage.
Wendy said, “The stage has been her refuge whether competing in pageants, singing, doing her anti-bully pep rallies or mentoring others. She has always been the most compassionate, caring and dedicated young lady I know.”
October 2, 2016, proved to be the most influential and noteworthy moments Heidi had experienced throughout her pageant career. On this day, Heidi captured her dream title and became the Miss Tangipahoa Parish Fair Queen. Not only was Heidi conquering her own goals, but also accomplished dreams her grandparents had formed for her as well.
“My parents were two well-known individuals in the pageant industry. Many years back they were directors of the fair pageant, but they recently passed away and sadly did not get to see this dream come true,” Wendy said, “She always said she wanted to represent our parish to the best of her ability and tell many people across the state what our Tangipahoa Fair and parish has to offer, all the while making her mimi and pawpaw proud.”
Heidi explained that winning the Tangipahoa Parish Fair Queen title was not an accomplishment that she takes lightly and knew going into her year that she had a job to do.
She said, “I chose this title to compete for as my first Miss title because I felt that the fair needed a representative who was willing to travel all across the state inviting people to our fair to rebuild and promote it, and I was more than ready for the job.”
Heidi upheld this standard she set for herself and hit the ground running. During the past year, Heidi has traveled to over 65 events, including pageants, balls, and events, throughout the state of Louisiana. As a queen in the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals system, queens get the opportunity to travel to fairs and festivals throughout Louisiana and promote their own community, cultures, and commodities.
There has not been a shortage of memories for Heidi and her parents this year. “Out of the 65 events I attended, my favorites would have to be crawfishing in Breaux Bridge, picking strawberries right here in Ponchatoula, dancing the night away at the Bridge City Gumbo Ball, touring the paper and saw mill in Washington Parish, sliding down the levees in Lutcher at the Festival of the Bonfires, but there are so many more I could name,” Heidi said.
Heidi is also thankful that her parents have been by her side every step of the way on this journey. She said, “Although all of the events were amazing, my favorite memories were the ones made between my parents and I during long car rides. I am so blessed to have had both of my parents travel with me to every event. They made the experience so much sweeter.”
Heidi isn’t the only one who enjoyed the family bonding time. Wendy stated, “Not once did Herman and I ever say that we are tired and we just want our weekends back. We have met some absolutely wonderful parents and queens this year and we hope to keep in touch with them when Heidi’s reign is up.” Herman even got to indulge in the creative elements of this experience by building a sleigh for Heidi to race down the levee in at the Festival of the Bonfires in Gramercy. They might not have won the race, but definitely made lasting memories as Heidi tumbled head first out of her sleigh.
Heidi also had the opportunity to compete at the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festival Queen of Queens Pageant. The contestants compete in evening gown and interview portion competitions and network with other queens from around the state.
Out of 63 other contestants, Heidi was selected a part of the Top 15 during the final awards ceremony. Heidi recalled these exciting moments by saying, “I was so proud that I was able to get Tangipahoa Parish’s name out there for every to hear. Although I didn’t win, I wanted to make my hometown proud. They were sure to show all their support and love and I was so thankful for that.”
Hailey Lemay, a Southeastern senior, traveled alongside Heidi this past year as the Miss Italian Festival Queen. Lemay said, “Heidi did a phenomenal job representing Tangipahoa Parish this past year. It was an honor to travel as part of the Tangi 5 with her and get to know her and her sweet family. She made sure everyone knew about our parish and all of the wonderful qualities it has to offer.”
Heidi is forever thankful for the opportunity given to her this year. She said, “I hope to leave this year knowing that I traveled as far and as much as I could promoting the fair and Tangipahoa parish as possible. I greatly encourage the new queen to travel and help the fair grow and become bigger and better every year.”
The 129th Tangipahoa Parish Fair kicks off Wednesday, October 4 and will run through Sunday, October 8. The event has been moved to a new location and will be held at the Florida Parishes Arena in Amite. For any questions regarding Battle of the Bands, Shake, Rattle, and Roll, midway times, or further itinerary questions, please visit www.tangipahoaparishfair.org.
The pageant will take place on Sunday and Heidi will pass down her crown. If anyone is interested in competing for this title to represent Tangipahoa Parish and reign over their 130th year, forms may be picked up from Perfectly Posh or The Mulberry Tree in Amite, in Kentwood at The Total Look Salon, Greenstone Family Pharmacy in Greensburg, and in Independence at Pete’s Pharmacy. Any other questions or inquiries can be directed to Kelly Slocum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any girl between the ages of 18-23 who live in Tangipahoa or St. Helena parishes, or attends college in Tangipahoa parish is eligible to compete to fill Heidi’s shoes.