PLATTSMOUTH – Local residents reaped plenty of positive memories Thursday night at the coronation ceremony of the 2019 Plattsmouth Harvest Festival.
People gathered on Main Street in downtown Plattsmouth for the kickoff event of this year’s festival. The 90-minute celebration included the crowning of a new king and queen and knighting ceremonies for new Lords and Ladies of the Realm.
Grace Roby was announced as the new Plattsmouth Harvest Festival Queen and Don Rhoden was announced as the new PHF King. They received their crowns from 2018 Queen Dani Schreiber and King Tom Beckman at the conclusion of the evening. Both said they were thrilled with the honor of being chosen as PHF royalty.
“I love this festival,” Rhoden told the crowd. “This is probably the greatest honor of my life.”
“I want to say thank you to everyone,” Roby said. “I’m looking forward to this weekend and the rest of the year.”
Roby is a 2018 graduate of Plattsmouth High School and currently studies vocal music education at Northwest Missouri State University. She is a member of the National Association for Music Education and is involved in several musical groups in college.
Roby was involved in both band and chorus at PHS and earned awards in both areas. She was a two-time member of the Nebraska All-State Chorus and earned district honors for her vocal abilities. She participated in the PHS Sapphire & Ice Show Choir and sang the national anthem at various events.
Roby was a drum major for the PHS marching band as a senior. She captured district honors and played French horn in the University of Nebraska-Omaha BOCH Festival and the Iowa Western Community College Honor Band. She was part of a brass quintet that played the national anthem at her PHS graduation ceremony.
Roby was a member of a PHS play production group that earned a Nebraska High School Theatre Awards “Outstanding Ensemble” honor. She was involved in National Honor Society and collected several local and conference academic awards.
Rhoden is an anesthesiology specialist and has held a state medical license in Nebraska since 1984. He graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and completed a residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology.
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Rhoden told the crowd he has been involved with the Plattsmouth Harvest Festival since 2003. He has served as president of the Korn Klub and has volunteered his time at many festival activities. He said it was a dream come true to be selected as king.
“I’ve been going to the festival ever since I was a little boy,” Rhoden said. “This is an amazing experience to stand before you tonight.”
Plattsmouth graduate Ricki Duffy-Wampler began the coronation ceremony with the singing of the national anthem. Plattsmouth Mayor Paul Lambert and Korn Klub President Rachel Parsons both delivered remarks to the crowd, and members of the audience then honored several former kings and queens. The group included 1983 King Jay Speck, 1991 Queen Jenny Church Stander, 2011 Queen Rachel Parsons, 2012 King Terry Little, 2012 Queen Julia Freeburg and 2015 King Dennis Keil.
Schreiber and Beckman both delivered speeches to the crowd in their final acts as king and queen for the 2018-19 year. They said they loved the opportunity to travel to many different festivals and events across Nebraska.
“We’ve enjoyed immensely the chance to represent the citizens of Kornland in all of the activities we’ve been a part of,” Beckman said.
“We have had a really great year,” Schreiber said. “It has been a lot of fun.”
Six people were honored as Lords and Ladies of the Realm. Shelley Brugger, Kaitlyn Johnson and Jill Rollins were all knighted as Ladies of the Realm, and Randy Schroeder, Thomas Dougherty and William Schuh were knighted as Lords of the Realm. They watched the rest of the coronation ceremony from special seats on stage.
Four Plattsmouth Harvest Festival princesses were then recognized as they walked to the stage. Gabby Ramirez, Haley Miller, Mackenzie Miller and Riley Fitzpatrick appeared before the crowd. They will take part in several events throughout the festival.
Roby and Rhoden will reign as queen and king for the next year. They will take part in many festival events over the next few days and will be recognized at Saturday night’s Grand Parade. They will represent the area at many community festivals and parades during the 2019-20 timespan.