Boggy Bayou Queen Laken Victoria Grouvillia
Ms. Boggy Bayou Queen Ashley Leger Deville
Grouvillia crowned 34th Boggy Bayou Queen; Deville awarded Ms. title at annual festival
Both of the newly crowned Boggy Bayou royalty have deep roots in the Pine Prairie area from attending school in the area to being baptized in the village’s Catholic church.
Laken Victoria Grouvillia was crowned Boggy Bayou Queen succeeding Lynee’ West. She is the daughter of Sonia and Michael Grouvillia and is the granddaughter of Sheila Jones Prejean of Breaux Bridge, Allen and Linda Grouvillia of Eunice, and David Blood of Bayou Chicot.
She is currently attending LSU-E and plans on getting her major in dental hygiene from LSU Dental School.
Before becoming Boggy Bayou Queen, she held the titles of Miss Crawfish Etoufee, Miss Louisiana State, and Miss Etoufee Festival Queen. But, this Boggy Bayou title holds more of a special place in Grouvillia’s heart because of her roots.
“My pageant coach Nancy Nevils was a Boggy Bayou Queen, and her mother made the festival train,” Grouvillia stated. “I only hoped that one day I could wear that train and that crown upon my head. This title means so much more than just a crown because I’m able to represent this community, festival, and, most importantly, the Prairie Manor Nursing Home.”
“I’m looking forward to having an amazing year sharing moments and memories with my sister queens,” she continued.
Her newly earned title has caused her to learn a few more things about herself and her community. Grouvillia said, “Being crowned Miss Boggy Bayou Festival Queen has taught me that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to. I learned that without the residents there would be no need for a celebration such as the festival. I have learned how welcoming the community and the board members are. They take pride and excellence in what they do for this festival and nursing home.”
Following in the footsteps of Miranda Savoy as Ms. Boggy Bayou Queen is the 33-year old daughter of Stanley and Pearline Leger. Ashley Leger Deville is also the grandaughter of Horace and Beulah Leger and the late Gilbert and Essie King.
Her connection to Pine Prairie and the festival goes back to her Baptism. “This festival is dear to my heart,” Deville expressed. “It’s purpose and history are unlike any other festival. It provides funds for the residents of Prairie Manor Nursing Home. Its founder Fr. (Leslie) Prescott is who baptized me and confirmed me into the Catholic church.”
This year’s pageant afforded Deville the opportunity to “dust off my pageant heels.”
She was previously the 2000 Wagon Festival Queen in Cankton and Miss Cajun Christmas.
Deville is currently working in Alexandria at Aime Hospice as a community educator and is looking forward to building her “forever home” with her husband Brad and is hoping to have another child.
But, for the next year, it will be all about promoting Pine Prairie and its festival as Ms. Queen. “I can’t wait to travel,” Deville said. “I love learning about different Louisiana heritages and festivals. I also look forward to being a positive representative and, most of all, having integrity.”
The crown of Ms. Boggy Bayou Festival has also caused Deville to learn more about herself and the community. “I learned how amazing our small town really is,” she expressed. “I learned a new appreciation for how much dedication, love, and support that the locals have given to this festival over the past 34 years. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the Boggy Bayou Festival, Prairie Manor Nursing Home, and its motto ‘The home that prayer built.’”