Natchez Garden Club presents Magnolia Festival Royalty: Queen Myra Blair Smith

Published 1:00 pm Sunday, March 26, 2023

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The Natchez Garden Club proudly announces Miss Myra Blair Smith as the 2023 Queen to reign over the Spring Pilgrimage festivities, along with King Kenneth Ryan Skates. Blair is very honored to have been chosen to represent NGC as queen this year and excited to be sharing this honor with King Ryan. The two served as pages in 2009 and now become the first NGC pages to serve together as king and queen.

Blair is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Moncrief of Jackson and Mr. Michael Shull of Zachary, Louisiana. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clark Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Michael Rinehart of Natchez and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Shull of Woodstock, Georgia. She is also the great-granddaughter of Mrs. Martha Gammill and Mrs. Mary Ann Foggo-Eidt, both of Natchez. Blair has one brother, Kael Chadwick, of Jackson.

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Blair is a 2021 honors graduate of Cathedral High School where she was a member of the National Honor Society serving as parliamentarian her senior year. She was also a member of the Emerald Tide Dance Team, the Cathedral Tennis Team, Mayor’s Youth Council and the Key Club. Blair served three years as an assistant to Mrs. Mignon Lefebvre for the Natchez Junior Cotillion. As an AP Student of Mrs. Jean Biglane, Blair was recognized for her submission to the Eudora Welty Scholastic Writing Competition and earned the Gold Key Award. Her writing was submitted to the National Competition in New York where she received a Silver Medal Award.

Blair attends Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, where she is a sophomore majoring in nursing. She is a member of Tri-Delta Sorority, a Dean’s List student and a recipient of the Bulldog Scholarship and Outstanding Student Scholarship at Tech.

As a Certified Red Cross Lifeguard, Blair has spent her summers teaching swim lessons and lifeguarding at Ellicott Hill and the Natchez City Pool. This past summer, she was employed by Maley Swim School in Ridgeland, where she taught swim lessons to both children and adults and served as a lifeguard at the YMCA pool in Flowood.

Being involved in the Natchez Historical Pageant began for Blair at three years of age when she participated in the Little Maypole. In 2009, she served as a royal page with King Ryan Skates to Queen Hannah Loy and King Jordan Farmer. She continued to take part in various tableaus throughout high school including the Picnic, the Wedding of Varina Howell and Jefferson Davis, the Showboat as a Can-Can dancer, and the Polka. Blair’s involvement with NGC also included receiving guests at Magnolia Hall during Spring Pilgrimage and assisting with the Annual Mother’s Day Tea.

Queen Blair has deep roots in the Natchez Garden Club. Her paternal grandmother, Cheryl Foggo Rinehart, has served as past president of the club and her aunt Caroline Shull Devereaux reigned as NGC Queen in 2005. Blair’s cousin Walker Foggo served as 2017 NGC King, her cousin Will Foggo served as 2020 NGC King, and her cousin Stella Devereaux is a member of the 2023 Junior Royalty Court.

As her ensemble for the gala, Blair has chosen a champagne-colored satin ball gown belonging to her aunt Mary Catherine Shull Moffett. Complementing her gown, will be her crown, scepter, and jewelry luminous with aurora borealis crystals — her crown, a gift from her paternal great-grandmother; her scepter, a gift from her father and paternal grandparents; and her jewelry, gifts from her mother, step-father, and maternal grandparents.

In her spare time, Blair likes listening to music, attending concerts, and reading.