Pictured here is the 2019 Boggy Bayou King and Pine Prairie native Joey West. (Photo courtesy of Julie West)
West to be crowned king
While devoting his life to the service of his community through working as a contractor and serving as a deacon in the church, Pine Prairie native Joey West has built up a resumé worthy enough to earn him the title of 2019 Boggy Bayou King.
“It’s an honor to be part of the Boggy Bayou Festival period,” he expressed, “so, it feels good to be king and to represent the festival.”
West is a 1979 graduate of Pine Prairie High, and the owner of Joseph West Construction, which he started in 1981. He has been married to Julie Fontenot West since 1981. They have two children, Jordan and Jessie, and he is the proud grandfather of four grandsons.
The festival West will reign over as this year’s King is hosted to benefit a place near and dear to West’s heart - Prairie Manor Nursing Home. West’s connection to his hometown’s nursing home dates back to the time he spent doing contracting work for Prairie Manor before it first opened. West said, “When the nursing home was first built, Father Prescott and I designed a patio for the residents, where Joseph West Construction (West’s business) built and donated a large pagoda. A few years ago, an addition was added to the nursing home and another patio space was built.”
West has done countless other work for the nursing home as well as the festival itself. “I built the pavilion when the storm came through and tore off the old one, and I built steps, stairs, ramps, and different things for the festival to operate.”
His involvement with the festival extends to areas outside of contracting. “Since the festival has begun, I have served in several areas, such as: the nail driving booth, the First Baptist Church booth, and the PPHS yearbook booth,” said West.
Through the years, West’s construction business has completed many jobs at the nursing home, some of which have been generously donated.
This year’s proceeds from the festival will be used to purchase furniture for the nursing home’s memory care unit. For that reason, serving as king, West said, is even more special.
“It was in the memory care unit that my dad spent the last few months of his life,” said West. “I saw how hard the employees work to care for the residents in the nursing home, especially those suffering from Alzheimer’s like my dad. Just knowing that this year’s proceeds will go to the area of the nursing home where individuals like my dad reside makes this honor all the more special, and makes me even more eager to see that this year will be a huge success.”
His contributions to the festival have not gone unnoticed by board members such as Bernice Ardoin, who has served on the board since its creation.
“Joey has always helped our festival and continues to do so as he built our new stage steps this year,” said Ardoin. “He and his wife, Julie, have volunteered in the past with our nail driving contest and have been instrumental in assisting with the building of our stage,”
Ardoin continued, “We are so blessed to have his help and support. The board felt he was so deserving of this honor.”
Besides being involved with the nursing home and the festival in many capacities, West also been a member of First Baptist Church Pine Prairie for the past 41 years where he serves as a deacon, Sunday school teacher and mission’s leader. He has also been active in leading mission trips to Brazil for the last several years, and continues to travel to Brazil to share the word of God.
“I serve there in a lot of capacities but especially anywhere that we can help the community love our neighbors, share the word of God, and share Jesus. I’ve been a member of the church pretty much all of my life.”
According to Ardoin, this is the first time in Boggy Bayou history three brothers have worn the festival’s crown as its king. “I feel honored to serve as king of the Boggy Bayou Festival, especially in following two of my younger brother’ footsteps,” he said. “My youngest brother, Shane West served as king before passing away after suffering with Mesothelioma. Two years ago, my other brother Quint West served as King, along with his daughter Lynee West Cavins, who served as the queen.”
West concluded, “Now the oldest of the three has been honored by being selected to serve as the Boggy Bayou King, and I will do my best to represent the festival proudly.”