by TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
The 58th annual Bristol Mum Festival started on Sept. 13 with the crowning of 2019 Miss Mum queens.
The Miss Mum royal court this year is Miss Mum, Kay-Lin Koh, Junior Miss Mum Kathryn Voisine, Petite Miss Mum Aibhlin Delage, and Mini Miss Mum Azleigh Theriault.
Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu welcomed the audience to the Chippens Hill Middle School auditorium, and thanked them for supporting “the opening event for our premier community festival, The Mum Festival.”
“It’s always so great to be here and to see all the girls in the back because there’s no better role for all of us than to build strong girls into strong women,” said Zoppo-Sassu. “We have a great community and I really think on nights like this you can see the All Heart logo shine through the faces of these young girls, so please enjoy it, and I’m in the back rooting for all of them.”
During the pageant, 18 contestants competed in the casual wear competition and answered on-stage questions before the judges – Mary Lynn Gagnon, executive director of the Bristol Hospital Development Foundation; Sarah Lucian, development and marketing director for the Bristol Boys and Girls Club; John Mazzone, a member of the Bristol Boys and Girls Club Older Members Association, and Debbie Schur, a member of the Bristol Exchange Club and director of the Showcase of the Stars. The judges selected the top contestant in each of the four age categories.
Koh came to be a Miss Mum contestant during a Mum Festival Parade rehearsal with her dance studio.
“I’ll be dancing with my studio in the parade so that’s really exciting,” said Koh. “This is the first pageant I’ve ever done so I’m really excited to represent it. Just the whole thing, I’m really excited for it.”
And while she was really happy to have won, her crowning moment was bittersweet as she competed against one of her best friends, Gabriyele Tucker, who finished first runner-up to the title.
Voisine competed for the title of Junior Miss Mum last year, when her good friend Carson Gagne won the title. Inspired by her friend’s success, Voisine thought she’d give it another go.
“I was nervous to go and have everyone looking at me but I was really excited and happy to do all of the community service in my community this year,” said Voisine.
She said she is most looking forward to spending her year helping her community, working with surrounding communities, and making new friends.
Throughout the evening, the audience was treated to performances from the 2018 Miss Mum queens – Miss Mum Kayla Paulette, Junior Miss Mum Carson Gagne, Petite Miss Mum Leah Aparo, and Mini Miss Mum Gianna Cassin.
The pageant was hosted by Amy Vanderoef, Miss Mum 1990. Vanderoef is best known for her role as the Emmy-nominated host on WFAA’s “Good Morning Texas.”