Garden clubs announce 2016 pilgrimage queens, kings

Published 9:16 am Sunday, December 20, 2015

Special to The Democrat

NATCHEZ — The Natchez and Pilgrimage garden clubs recently announced their royalty for the Spring Pilgrimage 2016 season.

Each pair will reign over the Historic Natchez Tableaux for approximately two weeks beginning in March.

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Natchez Garden Club Queen Pepper Dorothea Taylor

Pepper Dorothea Taylor is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Edward Taylor Jr. of Natchez. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Noland Edward Biglane of Natchez and the late Mr. and Mrs. John Edward Taylor of Yazoo City.

Pepper is a 2013 graduate of Cathedral High School in Natchez and a member of St. Mary Basilica. She is currently attending Mississippi State University, where she is majoring in communications with a concentration in public relations.

At Mississippi State, she was selected for membership in the Shakous Honors College and Lambda Sigma Honors Society.

In addition, she is a Maroon VIP member and tour guide, past new Maroon Camp co-director, member of Delta Gamma Sorority, activities director and member of its art crew and photography crew, and the Student Association’s past co-director of the outdoor and film committee.

In the summer of 2015, she was honored with admission to the Coastal Marine Educational Research Academy in Tampa Bay, Fla., where she caught and tagged numerous sharks and stingrays and had the opportunity to save sea turtles.

Her hobbies include photography, traveling, hiking, fishing, hunting, snow skiing, snorkeling and running.

Her previous tableaux participation includes Little Maypole, Raising of the American Flag, Picnic, Polka and Wedding of Jefferson Davis, in which she played the bride.


Natchez Garden Club King John Hunter Taylor

John Hunter Taylor of Hernando is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Edward Taylor Jr. of Natchez. His grandparents are the late Mr. and Mrs. Noland Edward Biglane of Natchez and the late Mr. and Mrs. John Edward Taylor of Yazoo City.

John Hunter is a 2003 graduate of Christian Brothers High School in Memphis and a 2007 cum laude graduate of Mississippi State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Since 2008, he has been associated with the Mississippi Land Bank, ACA, in Senatobia and currently serves as assistant vice president.

He is also a graduate of the Southeastern School of Commercial Lending and a graduate of Leadership Tate County. He serves as the president of the Senatobia Rotary Club and is the former secretary, treasurer and vice president.

He is also the current vice president of the Tate/DeSoto County Forestry Association, having been its president and treasurer, is a current board member of Senatobia’s Tree City USA, and is a charter member and current board of directors member of the Krewe of Hernando, a service organization. He attends Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Hernando.


Pilgrimage Garden Club Queen Mary Kathryn Carpenter

Mary Kathryn Carpenter is the daughter of Emily and Todd Carpenter of Natchez and the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Billy Crosswhite of Decatur, Ala., Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Sayles of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Carpenter of Tuscaloosa.

Mary Kathryn is a 2013 graduate of Cathedral High School. She is currently attending the University of Alabama where she is in the honors college and is majoring in photojournalism and minoring in general business. She is a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key International Honor Society and Sigma Rho Chi.

She serves in the honors college as a mentor and is an honors college leadership council member. She is also an editing and design freelancer for the Tuscaloosa News.

She is a member of Jefferson Street United Methodist Church in Natchez.

She enjoys photography, hiking, writing, painting, reading, traveling and meeting new people.

Her previous tableaux participation includes Little Maypole, Big Maypole, Raising of the Flag, Junior Bridesmaid in the Wedding and Picnic.


Pilgrimage Garden Club King Ashton Mackenzie Baker

Ashton Mackenzie Baker is the son of Lisa and Burk Baker of Baton Rouge and the grandson of the late Edwina Starnes, the late Luther Starnes, the late Joseph Colson and the late Devereux Marshall Slatter.

Ashton is a 2012 graduate of Runnels High School in Baton Rouge. He is currently attending Trinity University in San Antonio where he is majoring in Chinese. He is a Trinity president’s scholar, a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and his original Poem “A Celebration of Poets” was selected for publication in 2009.

He enjoys reading, running and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

His previous tableaux participation includes Little Maypole and Showboat.