BELLE CHASSE- The Plaquemines Parish Fair and Orange Festival is coming up this fall, and preparations are already being made from growing the juiciest citrus to crowning a new Orange Queen. WGNO's Adam Bowles takes a look.
"Plenty of oranges huh?" Ben Becnel says to a touring group on his farm. Ben Becnel of Belle Chasse owns over 50 orchards of oranges.
"They passed the sugar test last week so that's why we can sell them," Becnel says. That's five thousand trees that he says has one of the juiciest, sweetest fruit grown in the tropical conditions of Plaquemines Parish.
His family grew this fruit for over a hundred years, and through the years, comes history.
"Woodland Plantation, my grandfather was the overseer on my mommas side and he died there. All of my mothers, sisters, and brothers was raised at Woodland Plantation."
The plantation is part of a rich history of the parish including the Plaquemines Parish Fair and Orange Festival. With history, started the tradition of the Orange Queen Pageant, a pageant combining the fruit of labor of young women and their goals achieved from hard work.
"These women really are very proud of their parish," Stephanie Oswald, a News With a Twist reporter says. "and they're going to put their best foot forward to make sure their parish is represented all over the country and all over the state as the Orange Queen."
"Your 2018 Orange Queen is contestant #8!" the announcer says.
Contestant number 8 and the 2018 Orange Queen is revealed to be Blair Nicole Jones from Belle Chasse. She will start an incredible year with a sisterhood of a lifetime.
The Orange Queen a symbol of grace and beauty, that came from a tradition; that started with a history of growing the juiciest fruit in Louisiana. The Plaquemines Parish Fair and Orange Festival will be November 13th through December 2nd at Historic Fort Jackson in Buras.