McCary is PGC queen: Trinity graduate will reign during first half of Pilgrimage
NATCHEZ — When Abagail McCary peeked out from behind the giant curtain at the Natchez City Auditorium as a little girl during tableaux, she looked for a couple of sets of eyes as she scanned the crowd.
With her heart racing and a tummy full of butterflies, McCary searched for the two people that could calm her nerves.
“My grandparents were there every single night of the month,” she said. “I always looked for them. Once I lock eyes with them, I know everything is good to go.”
Those nerves might come rushing back this year when all eyes will be on McCary as this year’s Pilgrimage Garden Club queen reigning during the Historic Natchez Tableaux.
“It’s such an honor, she said. “I’m just really excited and looking forward to it. It’s always a little nerve-racking.”
Luckily, McCary has had years of practice to build her confidence as a participant in the Historic Natchez Tableaux.
“It really helps with your confidence,” she said.
McCary was a townsperson when she “could barely walk,” then a Little Maypole and Big Maypole dancer, the lead in Soiree and a Can-Can dancer.
“I loved the Can-Can,” she said. “It’s hard to choose a favorite, but the Can-Can was so fun, and the crowd loved it.”
But being crowned queen is the ultimate tableaux achievement.
“When you’re little, you always look up to the queens,” she said.
McCary is the daughter of Tim and Penny McCary and the granddaughter of Dr. A.D. and Mrs. Barbara McCary and the late Mr. and Mrs. R.S. Williamson.
She is a 2010 graduate of Trinity Episcopal Day School. While she was in high school, McCary was awarded the D.A.R. Good Citizen Award, American Legion Award, United States Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award and was a member of the Trinity Key Club for four years and secretary her senior year. She was a yearbook staff member, the business editor her senior year and treasurer of her class for four years.
McCary is a junior at Louisiana Tech University, where she is majoring in marketing and analysis. McCary plans to use her degree to pursue a career in marketing research.
McCary is a member of Sigma Kappa sorority and received the Sigma Kappa Sisterhood of the Year Award. She was the 2010 Panhellenic Treasurer and a Sigma Kappa House chair. She is a member of the Order of Mega Greek Honor Society and is a student recruiter for the university.
McCary will be donning a former queen Ann Harris’ dress, and she added a little sparkle to make the ivory gown her own.
“We added a sheer layer with sparkles around the skirt and lace with beading around the collar and waistline,” she said.
A queen’s crown is one of the most essential elements of her outfit, and McCary said she looked extensively until she found the perfect one.
“We searched all over until we finally found one,” she said.
McCary’s grandparents provided her crown, which McCary says is a classic tiara.
“It’s definitely not anything over the top,” she said. “I think it’s a very classic look.”
McCary’s floral-shaped scepter was a gift from her godparents, Jerry and Carol Smith.
The details of her outfit — the crystal covered globe at the end of the scepter, the sparkle on the dress — really make it special, McCary said.
“I’ve always loved all the detail that goes into making our costumes,” she said. “It puts you back to a time in history and is just something so special and unique to Natchez that I’ve always enjoyed.”
And McCary said that tableaux is a great confidence builder, especially for young girls.
“I think anything of that nature, performing ballet, playing sports, anything like that builds confidence and is a great thing for kids to get involved in,” she said.