With Nederland Heritage Festival festival canceled, other events push on

Published 12:21 am Friday, February 12, 2021

NEDERLAND — While the Nederland Heritage Festival has shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, local residents still are able to participate in additional events many have come to love.

The annual pageant took place this past weekend, allowing the festival organization to award scholarships to the winners, executive director Shannon Hemby said.

“That is one of the reasons I do this job,” Hemby said. “We want to give the donations out, and the scholarships are important, especially for our graduating seniors. That was really, really important. It also allowed the girls to have a chance to do something normal.”

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Hemby said the event went off without a hitch.

“Everybody was so cooperative,” she said. “Everyone abided by the CDC guidelines. We have a COVID-19 plan we put in place and everyone made it happen. They worked impeccably together.”

Sierra Wiltz was crowned Miss Nederland 2021.
Other winners included Junior Miss Evei Shipley, Young Miss Evyn Guidry, Petite Miss Lilly Michalk, Little Miss Sawyer Aycock, Tiny Miss Tanner Purser, Tiny Princess Ella Forkner, Tiny Tot Callie Pontiff and  Master Tiny Tot Liam Schmidt.


On March 6, the Nederland Heritage Festival will host its annual golf tournament, followed by the Fun Run on March 7.

Hemby said the festival is more fortunate than most events. Last year, it was one of the last events in the area to run before the county went into lockdown.

While many others are finding a way to cope with missing a second-straight year, this will be the first time missed for the festival.

“We’re fine,” Hemby said. “We were so blessed to be able to have ours last year. We will be able to run a year without having a carnival.”

Former Mr. Nederlands selected NISD board president Micah Mosley to hold the title this year. Mosley graduated from Nederland High in 2007. He currently works at Indorama as a Utilities Operations Manager.

The school board president was elected to the board in 2018. He was also a part of the Citizens Advisory Committee that helped pass the 2019 school bond.

Despite the pandemic and canceled carnival, the Nederland Heritage Festival proceeded to dedicate its book to one of the festival volunteers — Melissa LeJune.

“Melissa has been involved with this organization for many years,” the book reads. “She puts her heart and soul into everything she does with a smile on her face.”

LeJune was co-chairman for the Little Miss pageant from 2009-2011. She was named the chairman for the Young Miss pageant in 2011 and still holds the position.

The Nederland Heritage Festival and city elected to cancel the festival late last month. Hemby said they were holding out hope vaccines would be more widely available by now, but couldn’t risk scheduling the carnival ride company and having vendors buy food and not be able to sell it.

Hemby said she is looking forward to having the carnival back and better than ever in 2022.

2021 Nederland Heritage Festival Pageant winners:

Miss Nederland:
Winner: Sierra Wiltz
1st Runner Up: Ashlyn Junot
2nd Runner Up: Aubrey Eversole
3rd Runner Up: Drew Flourney
Talent Winner: Sierra Wiltz
Junior Miss:
Winner: Evei Shipley
1st Runner Up: Ava Washburn
2nd Runner Up: Camryn Slott
3rd Runner Up: Kierra Patteson
Young Miss:
Winner: Evyn Guidry
1st Runner Up: Kenidee Allen
2nd Runner Up: Catalina Duran
3rd Runner Up: Jaslyn Guizar
Petite Miss:
Winner: Lilly Michalk
1st Runner Up: Addison Araujo
2nd Runner Up: Austyn Guidry
3rd Runner Up: Charlee Harber
Little Miss:
Winner: Sawyer Aycock
1st Runner Up: Ella Morales
2nd Runner Up: Ella Fontenot
3rd Runner Up: Olivia Morales
Tiny Miss:
Winner: Tanner Purser
1st Runner Up: Anslee Guy
2nd Runner Up: Nora Aycock
3rd Runner Up: Aubree Araujo
Tiny Princess:
Winner: Ella Forkner
1st Runner Up: Quinn Pryor
2nd Runner Up: Isly Duhon
3rd Runner Up: Hadley Hoelzer
Miss Tiny Tot:
Winner: Callie Pontiff
1st Runner Up: Autumn Johnson
2nd Runner Up: Penelope Pryor
3rd Runner Up: Emerson Lindsey
Master Tiny Tot:
Winner: Liam Schmidt
1st Runner Up: Rhett Due
2nd Runner Up: Barrett Hayter
3rd Runner Up: Jose Leal