We are led to understand certain elements of the public have questioned the validity and reason for existence of the Little Miss Vinton County Wild Turkey Festival. This is the final and definitive statement from the Vinton County Wild Turkey Festival Committee regarding the naming of the Little Miss.

For years the Wild Turkey Festival has held a competition for elementary-aged children to be crowned Little Miss Gobblerette and Little Mister Gobbler. This competition is won by the child who raises the most money and donates it to the committee by an announced deadline.

In 2021, a lapse in judgement by a member of the committee resulted in money being accepted after the deadline, causing the wrong child to be crowned Little Miss Gobbler. According to the member, the parent of the child who ultimately received the title attempted to turn in the money as cash while the member was at home. Not wanting to be responsible for holding a large quantity of cash, the member instructed the parent to purchase a money order or cashier’s check and turn it in later. It was not turned in until the festival began, which was well after the deadline. Despite being advised that it would be wrong to accept the late payment, the member accepted it anyway.

The family of the child who was denied the recognition and the crown discovered what had occurred and demanded an equitable resolution. Upon hearing of the situation, the committee agreed that an injustice had occurred. After discussion and negotiation, a solution was reached to award the aggrieved party the new title of Little Miss Wild Turkey Festival, with requisite crown, sash and other such benefits that go with similar positions, including representing the festival at local events, given that expenses associated with attendance and travel to events would not be reimbursed by the committee.

So again, we announce: Addilyn Rose was named the 2021 Little Miss Wild Turkey Festival by festival organizers. Addilyn is the 5-year old daughter of Kayla and Curtis Rose. She will be representing the festival at regional fairs and festival along with 2021 Wild Turkey Festival Queen Lily Jayjohn,, First Attendant Mika McFadden, and Second Attendant Lydia Nichols. The festival earlier recognized Grayson Albright as Little Miss Gobblerette and Zander Ierum as Little Mister Gobbler.

The annual Vinton County Wild Turkey Festival is held the first full weekend in May on the streets of McArthur. The 2022 festival will be held May 5 to 8. For festival updates and information visit the website www.vcwtf.org.

Bill Beckley, committee chair of Vinton County Wild Turkey Festival

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