Natchez Garden Club introduces the inaugural Magnolia Festival’s 2022 Royal Court
Published 10:56 pm Monday, April 18, 2022
The Natchez Garden Club’s first-ever Magnolia Festival has begun. This is a Spring season of celebration with activities for all ages. During the festival, NGC will be honoring Natchez Garden Royalty at all events.
The highlight of Magnolia Festival will be the Magnolia Ball on Saturday, April 23, at the Natchez City Auditorium, which includes a presentation of the Royal Court, crowning of King and Queen and presentation of the NGC Lifetime Achievement award.
It begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. and continues until 9 p.m. and includes a live performance of Big Maypole and Polka traditional dances performed by NGC youth. There will be a silent and virtual auction and live dance band, “4 Barrel Funk.” Proceeds from the Magnolia Ball will be used for NGC’s historic preservation efforts. General admission is $50 with various levels of sponsorship opportunities.
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More information can be found at natchezgardenclub.org.
Here are the members of the 2022 Royal Court:
Abigail Lynn Branton
Abigail Lynn Branton “Abby” is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Woody Townsend and Mr. Donald Branton. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Lynette Tanner of Frogmore, Louisiana, and the late Mr. Buddy Tanner, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Branton of Ferriday, Louisiana, and Mrs. Tamara King and the late Jerry King of Monticello. She graduated from Cathedral High School in 2020 with Honors. She is currently a sophomore at Louisiana State University where she is majoring in Management with a concentration in strategic leadership. While at Cathedral, she was a member of the National Honor Society, Peer Ministry, Basketball, Key Club and on the A Honor Roll. She is currently a member of the Phi Mu Sorority at LSU. She enjoys traveling, shopping and spending time with her dog, Jet.
Joanna Marjorie Johnson
Joanna Marjorie Johnson is the daughter of Ms. Valerie Meng and William Johnson and the granddaughter of Marjorie Meng of Natchez and the late Lester Meng Jr. Joanna is a Senior at Delta State University where she will receive a degree in Journalism. She is a member of Phi Mu National Sorority and a writer and editor for her school newspaper. While attending University of Southern Mississippi she had her own campus radio show. Joanna is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the National Honors Society Joanna is a 2018 graduate of Delta Charter High School and has participated in various theater performances and the Natchez Garden Club tableaux as: The Bride in the Bride’s Fairwell, Polka, The Can-Can, Big Maypole and the Royal Court. Joanna loves traveling, cooking, and tennis.
Anna Maria Rodriguez
Anna Maria Rodriguez, “Anna”, is the daughter of Linda Fletcher Rodriguez of Lawrence, KS and Dr. Jack Rodriguez of San Juan, PR. She is the granddaughter of Etervina Davila and the late Virignio Rodriguez of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the late Dianne Fletcher William Fletcher of Natchez.
Anna is a graduate of Trinity Episcopal School, where she graduated in 2018. She is attending Tulane University, where she is majoring in Public Health and International Relations. She has been accepted to the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine where she will obtain her Masters of Public Health in Health Policy. She has been part of Tulane Cheerleading since her Freshman year, serving as Captain her junior and senior years.
Anna enjoys spending time with her family, cheering on the Tulane Football team, farming, volunteering, learning about her family heritage, travelling, spending time outside, and eating. Especially eating!
Maggie Caroline Ulmer
Maggie Caroline Ulmer is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William R. Ulmer II and the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. William R. Ulmer I of Centreville, the late Mr. and Mrs. Jacob W. Walker of Rayville, Louisiana and Mr. Jack Pope Jr. of Monroe, Louisiana. She graduated from Cathedral High School in 2019. Maggie served as a GreenWave Cheerleader, Member of the Homecoming Court and was nominated as one of the Most Admired her senior year. Maggie attends the University of Mississippi in Oxford. She is in her junior year at Ole Miss, majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Political Science. Maggie is a member of Phi Mu Sorority, is an active member of Campus Outreach and supporter of La Bonner Children’s Hospital. Maggie enjoys participating in many organizations across campus, working and competing in pageants and looks forward to traveling the world and “making a positive impact where I can.”
Donald Conerly Branton
Donald Conerly Branton “Conner” is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Woody Townsend of Natchez, and Mr. Donald Branton of Ferriday, Louisiana. He is the grandson of Mrs. Lynette Tanner of Frogmore, Louisiana and the late Mr. Buddy Tanner, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Branton of Ferriday, Louisiana and Mrs. Tamara King and the late Jerry King of Monticello. Conner graduated from Cathedral High School in 2018 where he was a member of the High School Baseball Team and Basketball Team. He studied at the University of Northwestern Ohio in High Performance Automotive Technology and is currently majoring in Software Development through the MCA program at Mississippi State University. Conner enjoys the outdoors, electronics, muscle cars and LSU Football. “Geaux Tigas.”
Ethan Trisler Huff
Ethan Trisler Huff is the son of Keith and Angie Huff of Natchez. His grandparents are Wilbert and Diane Trisler of Jonesville, Louisiana and Earlene Huff and the late Albert Huff of Harrisonburg, Louisiana.
He attended Cathedral School beginning in kindergarten and graduated in 2020. While at Cathedral, Ethan was a lineman for the Green Wave football team earning All-District honors in both 2019 and 2020. He was also selected to the All-Metro team in 2019. As a junior, he was selected to Youth Leadership Natchez and attended Mississippi Boys State. Ethan was very active in Boy Scouts of America for 11 years earning the rank of Eagle Scout his senior year. He began his freshman year at University of Mississippi in the Fall of 2020. There he joined the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program and later that year was awarded the Memphis Navy League and Four Year National NROTC Scholarships. Ethan has served as a squad leader and most recently the Associated Student Body Color Guard Head where he is in charge of planning and coordinating all NROTC color guard events at Ole Miss. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Naval Science.
Ethan’s hobbies include playing guitar, metal detecting and finding relics from years past. He has found many interesting coins, buttons, tools and other artifacts around the Miss-Lou. He also enjoys working out and hanging out with his friends and playing music with those who share his musical interests.
Ethan aspires to attend Naval Flight School following graduation and serve as a naval aviator.
Griffin Legendre Hootsell
Griffin Legendre Hootsell is the son of Finley and Regina Hootsell. He is the grandson of Mr. Lloyd Legendre Sr. and the late Mary Jean Legendre of River Ridge, LA and the late Mr. and Mrs. Walton Hootsell of Natchez. Griffin was homeschooled and completed the program in 2018. He currently works at his family’s businesses in Natchez. Griffin is a proud Eagle Scout and is currently severing as an Assistant Scout Master for Troop 158 in Natchez. He enjoys hunting and fishing when he is not working. Griffin’s past participation in the tableau includes The Picnic at Concord, Showboat, and the 2021 Court as a general.
William Chandler Johnson
William Chandler Johnson is the son of Ms. Valerie Meng and William Johnson and the grandson of Marjorie Meng of Natchez and the late Lester Meng Jr. Chandler is a sophomore at Delta State University majoring in History with plans to attend Law School at the University of Mississippi. He is an active member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon National Fraternity and was elected on the Student Government Counsel. Throughout high school he served as a Page during the legislative sessions for both the Mississippi State Senate and House of Representatives. Chandler is an Eagle Scout and graduated High School from Delta Charter. He has participated in various local Theater performances and the Natchez Garden Club tableaux as: The Groom in the Bride’s Fairwell, Polka, Big Maypole, Drummer and Flag Runner for the Royal Court. Chandler enjoys tennis, soccer, gaming and traveling.
Emily Carol Loy
Emily Carol Loy is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Josh Loy and the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Barry Loy of Natchez and Dr. and Mrs. Robert Savant of Natchez. She attends Cathedral School and is a member First Baptist Church. She is involved in Cathedral Middle School cheerleading and plays softball and basketball. Her other hobbies and interests include attending LSU football games, shopping, and hanging out with friends.
Halle Grace Janette
Halle Grace Janette is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Luke Janette. Her grandparents are John and Eileen Ball of Natchez, Ken Janette of Orange Beach, Florida, and the late Ann Janette and the late Laura Lynn Byrne of Natchez. She attends Cathedral Catholic School and has an A Honor Roll average. She is also a Cathedral Middle School football trainer and a member of St. Mary Basilica. She enjoys exercising and cheering on the LSU Tigers.
Olivia Gracie Navarro
Olivia Gracie Navarro is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nestor J. Navarro III and the grandaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rod Sommer of Covington, Louisiana, Mr. and Mrs. Nestor J. Navarro Jr. of Thibodaux, Louisiana, and Ms. Kathryn Navarro of Abita Springs, Louisiana. Olivia Navarro attends Cathedral Middle School and is an Honor Roll Student currently in the eighth-grade. Olivia plays on the Junior Varsity and Varsity Softball team for Cathedral. She also played on the JV basketball team for Cathedral and will be on the Varsity Cheer Team for Cathedral High School. Olivia has participated on several travel softball teams and is currently a member of the Diamond Dolls. In her free time Olivia enjoys spending time with friends and family, riding horses, and attending LSU sporting events. She is a member of St. Mary’s Basilica.
Elizabeth Eloise “Ella” Skates is the daughter of Jeremy and Michelle Skates. Ella is the granddaughter of John and Eileen Ball, Mike and Sherry Skates, and Ken and the late Ann Jeanette, all of Natchez. Ella is in the eighth-grade at Cathedral School in Natchez. She is a member of St. Mary’s Basilica, Cathedral Middle School Dance Team, the softball team and the basketball team. Ella’s hobbies include hunting, fishing and any activity outdoors. Ella loves cheering for all Cathedral sports and for her brother Ryan, who runs for Millsaps College.
Anita Maria Jordan
Anita Maria Jordan, age 13, from Natchez, is the daughter of Ms. Susie Pyron and Mr. Ian Jordan.
She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. Bernie Pyron and Mrs. Mary Lynn Jordan, both from Natchez.
Anita Maria is a member of the Cathedral Jr. High dance team and the Cathedral tennis team. She has also been involved in the Natchez Junior Garden Club for years. She enjoys gardening and painting.
Ryker Lee Atkins
Ryker Lee Atkins is the son of Reynolds Leon Atkins Jr. and Kristy Jewel Atkins. His grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds Leon Atkins Sr. and Ms. Edith Loy and the late Mr. Harley Loy, all from Natchez. He attends Cathedral, Class of 2027.
Ryker likes Ole Miss, runs track for Cathedral and is involved with Boy Scouts. He was a Page in 2015 and participated in Little Maypole and Big Maypole.
Elijah Earl Bass
Elijah Earl Bass is the son of Dallas and April Bass. His grandparents include Steve and Malinda Bass of Natchez and Calvin and Nancy Creel of Vidalia. Elijah is an eight-grade student at Cathedral School and a member of the Cathedral football team. He enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time. He is also a member of Abundant Life Church in Natchez where he is active in his youth group.
Tristan David Blalock
Tristan David Blalock is the son of Timothy and Elizabeth Blalock and the grandson of the late Tim Blalock and Paula Blalock of Natchez and Bryan and Diana Birkrem of Cambridge, Wisconsin.
He attends Robert Lewis Magnet School. He is an Honor Roll Student, Boy Scout, and is the Assistant instructor of Art at the Mississippi School of Folk Art. His other hobbies and interests include doing art and being outdoors, looking for lizards and snakes.
Houston Davis Edwards
Houston Davis Edwards, son of Stephen and Mary-Margaret Edwards and Tim and Lori Beth Struble. Grandson to Gary and Jeanne Edwards and Paul and Sara Marchbanks all of Natchez. Houston is in eighth-grade at Cathedral High School. Houston enjoys hunting, playing football and baseball, and fishing.
Grayson Douglas Gay
Grayson Douglas Gay, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sterling Gay and grandson of Douglas Netterville Sr. of Natchez and the late Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Gay of Natchez attends Cathedral Middle School and is currently in the eighth-grade. He will graduate in the class of 2026. Grayson is on the Cathedral Middle School Basketball, Baseball, Football and Shooting Team. Last year he was awarded Best Pitcher for middle school baseball and participated in the state skeet shooting competition on behalf of Cathedral. He has participated in various travel baseball organizations for five years, including Mississippi Venom. His other hobbies include outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, water sports, golfing and skiing. Grayson also enjoys spending time with his family and friends, traveling and attending sporting events.
Charles Martin Gilly
Charles “Charlie” Martin Gilly is the son of Martin and Mary Margaret Gilly of Natchez. He is the grandson of Eleanor and Bill Ernst of Natchez and Joe and the late Lynn Gilly of Baton Rouge, LA. Charlie is currently a seventh grader at Cathedral Middle School. He is an honor roll student and participates in Junior Varsity basketball. Charlie is an active member at Jefferson Street United Methodist Church and the church youth group. Charlie’s hobbies include basketball and spending time with friends and family.
Spencer Crews Marchbanks
Spencer Crews Marchbanks is the son of Ryan and Amy Marchbanks and the grandson of Paul and Sara Marchbanks of Natchez and Tim and Becky Hovas of Greenville. He attends Adams County Christian School. His hobbies include baseball, football, fishing and duck hunting.
Colton James Rabb
Colton James Rabb is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Wayne Rabb and the grandson of Ms. Annette Rabb and the late Wayne Rabb, Mr. and Mrs. Terry Fisher all of Natchez and Dr. and Mrs. Orrin James of Ferriday, Louisiana.
Colton is an eighth grader at Adams County Christian School. He is active in many sports including football basketball and baseball. Colton is also on the fishing and shooting team at school. Colton is an active member at First Baptist Church Natchez.
He enjoys hunting, fishing and riding horses when he is not playing ball.
Ethan Alexander Shaifer
Ethan Alexander Shaifer is the son of Stuart Allen Shaifer and Teri Nicole Shaifer. He is the grandson of David Wayne Shaifer of Springfield, Tennessee and Linda Linette Fisher of Cordova, Tennessee, the late Odis Clifton Turnage Jr. and Charlotte Britt, both of Natchez.
He is a student at Cathedral Middle School and is a member of the Cathedral Swim Team and Boy Scouts of America. He participated two years in Maypole.
His hobbies and interests include gaming, swimming, riding bikes, target shooting, camping and volunteer work.
Aleah Rose Blalock
Aleah Rose Blalock is the daughter of Timothy and Elizabeth Blalock and the granddaughter of the late Tim Blalock and Paula Blalock of Natchez and Bryan and Diana Birkrem of Cambridge, Wisconsin. She attends Susie B. West Elementary. She is an Honor Roll Student and is involved with the aNatchez Ballet Academy and the Mississippi School of Folk Art. She loves doing arts and crafts, riding her bike and playing outside.
Della Book is the daughter of Megan Guido and Racky Book. Della is the granddaughter of Gary and Carolyn Guido; Kim Adams; and the great-granddaughter of Margaret Guido and Patsy Robertson, all of Natchez. She is a first grader at Cathedral School and a member of St. Mary Basilica. Della enjoys riding her bicycle, walking her dog and playing with Barbies.
Suzannah Elliott Branton
Suzannah Elliott Branton is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Branton. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Titone of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Branton of Ferriday, Louisiana, and Mrs. Lynette Tanner and the late George Tanner Senior of Frogmore, Louisiana. Suzannah attends Cathedral Catholic School where she is in Mrs. Webber’s first grade class, and she is a member of St. Mary Basilica. Suzannah takes ballet at Natchez Ballet Academy and gymnastics at Natchez Gymnastics. She participates in soccer for Miss Lou Soccer Association and softball for Concordia Recreation. She also loves her pottery classes at Mississippi School of Folk Art. Suzannah enjoys performing in the nutcracker ballet and participating in outdoor activities, cheerleading, and sports. She loves dancing and playing with her friends. She is also her four big brothers’ biggest cheerleader. Suzannah’s previous NGC Tableaux participation includes Little Maypole.
Julia Whitney Brown is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Brown. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Bradford of Natchez and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Thimmesch of Woodville. She has one sibling, James Edward, 10, NGC Royal Page 2018.
Julia is a first-grade student at Cathedral Elementary School and is a member of St. Mary Basilica. She enjoys gymnastics and pottery class and loves all things outdoors, including swimming, playing basketball, hunting and playing in the creek.
In years past, Julia participated in the NGC Tableaux with roles being in Little Maypole and Royal Page 2021.
Mary Collins Carter
Mary Collins Carter is the daughter of David and Paige Carter. Mary Collins is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kinney Carlton and Mr. Craig Carter and the late Mrs. Linda Patterson. Mary Collins is in the first grade at Cathedral School. She attends church at First Baptist Church. Mary Collins takes dance at Natchez Ballet Academy. Mary Collins enjoys playing softball, riding her horse Silverado and riding her bike. She also loves playing with her friends and her dog Annie Bailey.
Mary-Thomas Edwards is the daughter of Stephen and Mary-Margaret Edwards and granddaughter to Richard and Sheila Alwood of Ferriday, and Gary and Jeanne Edwards of Natchez. She is in first-grade at Cathedral Elementary School. Mary-Thomas enjoys gymnastics, basketball, swimming and spending time with her friends and family.
Elise Callon Jones
Elise Callon Jones is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gary Brantley Jones. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Fred Callon and the late Mr. Fred Callon of Natchez, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Preston Jones and Ms. Margie Mc Elwee of Tallulah, Louisiana. She attends Cathedral school and is in the first grade. Elise enjoys soccer, gymnastics, art, swimming and playing with her sister Evie Chase (NGC Page 2019) and beloved dog Lucky.
Brooklynn Chrystie Ross
Brooklynn Chrystie Ross is the daughter of Jacob and Corley Ross and the granddaughter of Tim and Donna Sessions of Natchez, and Charles and Jamie Ross of Vicksburg. Brooklynn is currently a first grader at South Park Elementary. Brooklynn has been recognized for her consistent growth on the STAR, i-Ready, and ELA and Math benchmark tests. Brooklynn loves to cook, dance, learn acro, play softball, and play with her 2-year-old brother, Myles Barrett.
Tucker Hollis Blaney
Tucker Hollis Blaney is the son of Chad and April Blaney. His maternal grandparents are Don and Carol Ater of Ferriday, LA and Leslie Dillon of Vidalia, LA. His paternal grandparents are Kippy and Kari Blaney of Lake St John, LA and James and Elizabeth Worthey of Natchez. Tucker has attended Cathedral School since Pre-K 3 and is currently in the First Grade. In January 2022, Tucker was named Student of the Month.
Tucker has been a part of the Natchez Garden Club for the last four years. In this time, he has been a part of Little Maypole and The Showboat scene where he was a townsman.
Tucker’s hobbies include basketball, football, soccer and baseball. Tucker was a part of the 2020 Miss Lou youth soccer ALL Star team and was awarded the 6 & Under Skills Champion. He was also a part of the Miss Lou Dixie Youth baseball All Star team in 2021. Tucker enjoys the outdoors where he likes to hunt, fish, ride his four-wheeler, and riding bikes with his sister.
Larry Lynn Brown III
Larry Lynn “Lewie” Brown III, son of Mattie and Larry Brown. Grandson of Shields and Larry L “Butch” Brown of Natchez and Augusta and Billy Key Smith of Natchez. Lewie attends kindergarten at Cathedral School where he was the homecoming mascot in 2021. He has three siblings, Ansley, Barrett, and Caston. Lewie is a member of St Mary Basilica. Lewie loves the Ole Miss Rebels and enjoys hunting, fishing, horseback riding, playing basketball, soccer, and Tball, and water skiing at lake St. John. When he grows up, Lewie wants to be a firefighter!
Christopher Stephen Garner
Christopher Stephen Garner is the son of Christine and David Jenkins. He is the grandson of Dee and Steve Newman of Brandon, and Jean Ann and Henry Jenkins of Woodville. He has two older brothers, Peyton and Jacob. He is a kindergarten student at Cathedral Catholic School where he was a 2021 homecoming mascot and is a member of St. Mary Basilica. Stevie enjoys attending Mississippi State and Cathedral athletic events, playing outdoors, swimming, fishing, snow skiing, and riding his bicycle.
Easten James Morris
Easten James Morris is the son of Dallas and Casey Morris and the grandson of James and Terri Iverstine and Michael and Stephanie Morris. He is a student at Cathedral and is a member of St. Mary Basilica. He enjoys hunting, soccer, baseball and loves dinosaurs.
Jaxon Wright Warren
Jaxon Wright Warren is the son of Dr. Cody and Mrs. Kendra Warren. Jaxon is the grandson of Ms. Jeannie Ballew of Natchez and Mr. and Mrs. Bill Hinson of Vidalia and Mr. and Mrs. Donald Warren of Brookhaven. He is the great-grandson of The late Mr. and Mrs. Gene Ballew of Natchez, the late Mrs. Billie Faye Hinson and the late Mr. Edgar Hinson of Natchez, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Archie Ezell of Brookhaven and the late Mrs. Alice Warren and the late Mr. Bill Warren of Brookhaven. Jaxon is a first-grade student at Enon Elementary School in Franklinton, La. Jaxon is on the honor roll and received student of the month for January. Jaxon is a member of Franklinton Soccer Club in Franklinton, Louisiana. He enjoys fishing, shooting his red rider BB gun, riding the tractor, playing basketball, soccer and being outdoors. He faithfully attends First Baptist Church of Franklinton.