Earning a spot on the throne historically doesn’t involve a democratic process. But last year, the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Board created a committee for the royal court to rework the process of selecting a queen. What they came up with was a way to not only get the community involved in the crowning of a new queen, but to also raise money to support the court.
Last year was the first official year with a ballot, as subjects from all over Gonzales County voted for their queen with the small fee of $1, the Saturday before the Come and Take It Celebration weekend. During Come and Take It last year, Angelina Casares was officially crowned as the first queen of the new era. Casares recently reflected on her time as Gonzales County royalty.
“It was very interesting and very fun,” Casares said of her reign. “I actually didn’t think that I was going to do as much as I did for the year as queen and it was just a great experience.”
The royal court of Casares, Countess Hailey Hernandez, Princess Quinci Seger-Gordon and Duchess Kinley Cernosek, traveled around Texas representing Gonzales County in various forms like attending big parades, one of which was the San Antonio parade on the River Walk.
“I didn’t expect for me to raise all the money that I did,” Casares said of the parade. “The community was involved, we had a lot of events that were here in town and we all participated in them and we raised the money to go to San Antonio and it was the first time that Gonzales has ever been in a San Antonio parade. That was really off guard because I didn’t expect that I was going to raise all the money and it was one of my favorite parades.”
It may sound strange to consider someone wearing a crown in public humble, yet Casares remained as such, especially when confronted by young, wide-eyed princesses with queen-like aspirations. One of the queen’s most favorite moments of the year was talking with kids during the Christmas parade last year.
“After the parade we walked around in town and all the little girls came up to us and were like ‘Princess! Y’all are so beautiful and so pretty!’” Casares recounted. “It was great and crazy when they would tell us they wanted to be like us when they grow up and want to do the same thing that we’re doing. That was just a moment to me that was like, ‘yes!’”
That day reinforced the queen’s thoughts on being a role model in this community.
“I feel like it’s very important to live up to the standards and be a role model because you don’t have much in Gonzales,” Casares said. “I feel like for little kids to just look up to somebody is really great.”
One piece of advice Casares wants to give to the future queen is to always watch you’re doing.
“Someone is always watching what you do,” she concluded. “No matter what it is, no matter how private you keep it, little kids see everything, adults see everything. I would just say to stay true to yourself and live up to the standards they provide to you.”
Voting for Miss Gonzales County Queen and Princess will take place this Saturday, Sept. 29 in front of the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Royal Court allows just one vote per person, with ballots costing $1 each. All monies go to the queen’s scholarship.