Taylor Bui shares story behind her special journey to CavOILcade queen
Published 12:20 am Thursday, October 5, 2023
Growing up, Taylor Bui’s parents and grandparents told her of how much Port Arthur helped them become successful.
She learned first hand she can be just as successful if she puts in the hard work and stays ambitious.
Bui was crowned CavOILcade queen this past weekend, becoming the first of Vietnamese decent in the pageant’s 71-year history.
The new queen makes an impression on those she meets. From her contagious smile to her friendly nature, people take notice.
Besides being named queen, her peers also named her Miss Congeniality.
“It was such an honor,” Bui said. “I didn’t expect any of this. I went in with an open mind.”
Bui was also named Miss Port Neches and Miss Beaumont Teen earlier this year, showing further proof of her affable nature.
Bui previously told Port Arthur Newsmedia pageants are not about looks.
“I want to show girls that you don’t need to have a lot of money or look a certain way,” she said. “That’s not the point of being in pageants. It really is about making an impact, trying to make the world a better place and showing girls it’s more than just putting on a dress and getting a crown.”
Bui, a Port Neches-Groves High School senior, has a long history with theater, going back to when she was 5-years-old.
That’s when she started taking part in summer camps with Port Arthur Little Theatre.
“I went to my first camp, loved it and continued to go,” she said.
She’s now a member of PALT’s Junior Board, which she said led to friends and knowing more about the community.
Port Arthur Little Theatre was Bui’s sponsor for CavOILcade.
“Taylor has grown up around the theater,” according to Debbie Pletcher of PALT. “We are so very proud of her. She’s beautiful inside and out.”
During the summer Bui had a lead role in the production of Beauty and the Beast as Belle.
“I had to tell her in rehearsal, ‘Taylor, you’re supposed to be scared here and you’re smiling.’ She always has a smile on her face,” Pletcher said.
Bui has also taken on the role of Cady Heron — made famous by Lindsay Lohan on the big screen — in the high school production of Mean Girls.
“It was so much fun,” Bui said. “It was the first show having underclassmen, and we made closer friendships. It was very rewarding.”
Meeting new people and making friendships is a common theme with Bui, and she cherishes her experiences with the CavOILcade pageant.
CavOILcade is community oriented, she said, with events that welcome family and friends. There are teas to attend with sponsors and parents, a daddy-daughter dance and an etiquette dinner with escorts.
She said not all of the contestants go to the same school; being part of the pageant allowed her to get to know the others, which gave it more meaning.
Bui’s special experiences with the pageant were made even more special due to a certain white dress.
As part of the event the contestants are required to wear a white dress. Her first thought was her mother’s wedding dress, but they decided to go shopping. They tried different boutiques and all the dress were beautiful but none felt right.
She asked her mom to please bring the wedding dress down for her to try on and she did.
“She finally brought down the wedding dress and it fit perfectly,” Bui said.
With a few alterations the wedding dress became her white formal dress.
“It was so much more meaningful,” she said.
The high school senior, who is enrolled in all honors classes, is preparing for college. She has applied and been accepted at Lamar University, is receiving scholarships and will apply for a Presidential Scholarship.
While nothing is set in stone at this time, she is thinking of majoring in theater with a minor in business.
CavOILcade was created as an annual celebration saluting the oil industry, which helped build the city.
CavOILcade winners include:
- 1st runner-up Anyla Freeman
- Most Photogenic Brianna Barrera
- Walter Breaux Memorial Escort Winner Aiden Anders