‘This is a special day’: Gov. Andy Beshear crowns Queen at Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival

Western Kentucky's Abigail Canter was crowned Queen.
Western Kentucky's Abigail Canter was crowned Queen.(Cory Sanning/WYMT)
Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 8:29 PM EDT
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BELL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - A joy-filled afternoon in Pineville was highlighted by the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival Queen’s Coronation with a visit from a familiar face.

“This is a special day. It’s a special festival and tradition and we got to do it in person again for the first time in almost two years,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said. “It’s exciting to see the community come together.”

As day three of the festival got underway, Beshear was on-hand to crown this year’s Festival Queen.

Congratulations to our new 2021 KMLF Queen Abigail Canter.

Posted by Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival on Saturday, May 29, 2021

“I was so shocked, they have a hilarious picture of my face because I seriously was not expecting it at all,” Abigail Canter said. “I’m just so thankful for this and so thankful for the people of Pineville and all their hospitality this weekend.”

Canter represented Western Kentucky University in the pageant and said that the two-year wait was well worth it.

“They have outdone themselves and just like they said when they come back, they were going to do it 10 times better and they absolutely did,” Canter said. “So I’m so grateful for all the work that they put in.”

Beshear’s appearance at the festival was his first, awarding the crown to Canter while making a special announcement.

“We got to break the news that we’re making a recommendation to the Appalachian Regional Commission for 700,000 dollars of additional funding to help downtown Pineville,” Beshear said.

He also expressed his gratitude for the ability to hold in-person events again.

“It’s a miracle,” Beshear said. “After 15 months from our first case, we have 2.1 million Kentuckians vaccinated and we can do this again. Facing a worldwide health pandemic, that is a miracle.”

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