Mackey continues family COTR legacy

Sally Mackey displays a newspaper article with a photo of her aunt, Lynda Stapp, who was the first Miss Christmas on the River.

This year’s Miss Christmas on the River, Sally Mackey, has a voice and is delighted to share with everyone the excitement of Christmas on the River. She has been featured on various news stations to promote Christmas on the River 2017 and recently shared with the public her royal lineage.

Sally’s aunt, Lynda Stapp, was the very first Miss Christmas on the River crowned. “That was something Lynda was quick to remind us of,” Mackey said. She was very proud to be part of something so important to the city of Demopolis. Lynda was even in the COTR Day Parade last year.

Unfortunately, Lynda passed away last spring and left her family and friends way too soon. However, as her daughter, Annie Stapp Wells, recently reminded Sally and her mother, it is comforting knowing that her last act was one of giving and selflessness. Her organs extended the lives of two individuals in Tennessee. Last Friday, there was a fundraiser held in Lynda’s name, “Cheers to Lynda”.

Sally loved her aunt very much and wants to honor her name by spreading the word to be an organ donor. She is challenging everyone to become one. It doesn’t take much to make the choice, but it’s a choice that can do so much.

It seems this year’s Miss COTR not only has beauty and brains, but she also has a special heart.

Hasty crowned Little Miss COTR 2017 (with gallery)

10-11-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Claire Elisabeth Hasty is crowned Little Miss Christmas on the River 2017 by Camdyn Grace Morgan, Little Miss COTR 2016, at the Demopolis Civic Center.

In the largest Christmas on the River Pageant, Little Miss COTR had 46 little angels competing for the title. They walked, skipped and even bounced their way into the judges hearts to stand out among so many contestants. The judges divide the number of girls to 26 in order to select a top 11. Those making the top 11 list were Katherine Hewitt, Khloe Wolf, Kendall Gandy, Makyla Rembert, Violet Smelley, Emily Parten, Naudia Reed, Carly Teel, Claire Hasty, Ansley Basinger and Emma Dahl.

The judges debated and chose a top 5 to answer the question, “What is your favorite thing to do at Christmas?”. After each little sweet voice answered, the esteemed judges had their decisions for the 2017 Little Miss Christmas on the River and her Royal Court.

Placing in the fourth alternate position was Kendall Marie Gandy in an ivory tulle gown. In a very sweet baby pink tulle gown was third alternate, Ansley Brooke Basinger. Naudia Naomi Reed earned second alternate wearing a beautiful white ball gown with rhinestone detailing. Awarded first alternate was Emma Rae Dahl who wore a gorgeous pink ruffled gown embellished with crystals.

Crowned Little Miss Christmas on the River was Claire Elisabeth Hasty in an elegant off-the-shoulder white gown with rhinestones and silver bead work. Claire is the seven year old daughter of Jared and Rebecca Hasty. She is a second grader at Westside Elementary School. She was so happy when they called her name out that she just couldn’t stop shaking with excitement. Claire is most excited about crowning a new queen next year and hopes a lot of girls will dress up next year and have as much fun as she did. She says to just believe in yourself and go into the competition to have fun and be with your friends.

Be on the look out to see all of this year’s winners and their Royal Court at all of the Christmas on River events, starting November the 29th with the lighting of the Love Light Tree.

Stokes crowned 2017 Young Miss COTR (with gallery)

10-10-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Kylie Elizabeth Stokes (right) reacts as she realizes that she will be Young Miss Christmas on the River 2017 as Adalyn Broox Lindsey’s (left) name is called as first alternate.

Young Miss Christmas on the River 2017 saw 33 contestants compete for the title at the Demopolis Civic Center. They paraded in true pageantry form to show their best style, poise and beauty as the judges chose a top 15. These young ladies presented their best and included Millie Hill, Emery Wideman, Susanna Bell, Elliegh Reid Dossett, Mary Carlton Parten, Madisen Sewell, Maddie Grace Teel, Sha’Keithia Murphy, Kyle Stokes, Olivia Tripp, Anna Kate Morrison, Adalyn Lindsey, Ari Freeman, Ali Basinger, and Bailey Madison Bolden.

After the top 15 contestants walked a second time, the judges narrowed the competition down to a top 5, who were judged on their ability to speak in public and think on their feet by answering the question, “What do you look for in a friend?” These third through fifth grade thought very hard to come up with the best answer to win the judges over. After the judges reflected on their decision, the new Young Miss COTR and her Royal Court were decided.

Placing fourth alternate was Mary Carlton Parten wearing a beautiful white tulle gown with silver and gold sequins. Susanna Bell was awarded third alternate in an off the shoulder elegant princess gown with lots of sparkle. Wearing a fabulous white formal gown with a silver beaded bodice and white rosettes on the skirt was second alternate, Emery Wideman. Adalyn Broox Lindsey earned first alternate wearing a gorgeous white satin gown embellished with crystals.

Crowned Young Miss Christmas on the River was Kylie Stokes in a perfect satin Christmas red gown detailed with crystals. Kylie is the daughter of Wayne and Heather Stokes and attends U.S. Jones. She was extremely shocked and overwhelmed at winning the title. Ms. Stokes is excited and looks forward to riding and waving in the COTR Day parade. She wants everyone to know how much fun it was to compete in this year’s pageant and hopes that everyone will sign up for next year and have as much fun as she did.

Come out and support the last of the COTR pagaents, Little Miss COTR, tonight at the Civic Center at 6pm.

Gray crowned 2017 Miss Junior COTR (with gallery)

10-9-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — LaCher Sincere Gray was crowned Miss Junior Christmas on the River 2017 by Molly Katherine Harrison, who was Miss Junior Christmas on the River 2016.

Monday night saw 16 beautiful young ladies compete in the Miss Junior Christmas on the River at the Demopolis Civic Center. They all presented their beauty, poise and confidence in hopes of being named this year’s winner. The top 11 chosen were Caylee Madison Jones, Anna Katherine Sellers, Madelyn Baty Singleton, Meredith Gray Patrenos, Taylor Mills Quinney, Abbie Grace Cameron, Wesley Elizabeth Craft, Megan Lindsey Roe, LaCher Sincere Gray, Leah Beth Stewart, and Cassidy Claire Crawford.

After a second parade of contestants, the top 5 were chosen and took the stage to answer the question “What makes you you happy or laugh?” The judges then debated and took in consideration the contestants answers and ability to speak in public, along with their poise and beauty to name the new Miss Junior COTR and her royal court.

Fourth Alternate was Meredith Gray Patrenos wearing a white chiffon dress with lace and crystal detailing on the bodice. Cassidy Claire Crawford was awarded third Alternate donning an emerald evening gown with beading at the waistline. In a Christmas red ball gown, Caylee Madison Jones was chosen as second Alternate. Taylor Mills Quinney earned the first Alternate position wearing a golden hued gown with lots of shine and sparkle.

This year’s Miss Junior Christmas on the River is LaCher Sincere Gray. LaCher was wearing an elegant white off the shoulder ball gown encrusted in crystals. She is the daughter of Henry and LaTara Jones and is in the seventh grade at Demopolis Middle School. LaCher said she was “super shocked but very excited to be named Miss Junior COTR.” She said she’d like to encourage other young ladies to participate in the pageant but to always have an open mind when competing. Miss Gray is looking forward to riding in this year’s COTR parade of floats.

Be sure to come to the Demopolis Civic Center and support more young ladies as they compete in the remaining COTR pageants.
Young Miss COTR Tuesday October 10th at 7pm.
Little Miss COTR Wednesday October 11th at 6pm.

Mackey crowned 2017 Miss COTR (with gallery)

10-7-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Sally Mackey is crowned 2017 Miss Christmas on the River by 2016 Miss Christmas on the River JaKeira Washington at the Demopolis Civic Center.

Miss Christmas on the River has been a time honored tradition for 46 years. Freshman through Senior class young ladies from Demopolis and the surrounding areas compete in hopes of representing Christmas on the River during all of the wonderful holiday festivities that year. Twelve young ladies competed for the title of Miss Christmas on the River 2017 tonight at the Demopolis Civic Center. They showed their personality, charm and intelligence in an interview with the judges prior to gliding across the stage to present their poise and beauty to win the coveted title.

After all of the scores had been tallied, the top five were called to the stage to answer a question to show their ability to speak in public and to think on their feet. The scores were then tallied again and a new Miss COTR and royal court were decided.

Wearing an elegant black off the shoulder gown embellished with rhinestones on the sleeves was 4th alternate, Sidney Alyn Atkins. Abigayle Marie Quinney was named 3rd alternate in a classic off the shoulder black evening dress. In a gorgeous Fuchsia one shouldered gown, SueEllen Marie Broussard was awarded 2nd alternate. 1st alternate was McKenzie Lane Walker wearing a beautiful black evening gown outlined in rhinestones.
Sally Katherine Mackey was crowned Miss Christmas on the River 2017 wearing a stunning Sherri Hill Ball Gown encrusted with multi-colored crystals. Sally was also honored with the title of Miss Congeniality which is chosen by the other contestants. She is the daughter of Bill and Lori Mackey and is a student at Demopolis High School.

Sally is no stranger to representing Christmas on the River. Growing up with the tradition of the Christmas on the River pageants she has represented the Little Miss and Miss Jr. Christmas on the River titles and was part of the Young Miss Christmas on the River Royal Court. “I was honestly shocked at being crowned but extremely honored to be awarded the title and will represent it to the best of my abilities,” Mackey said

The Tradition continues with the remaining three pageants starting Monday at the Demopolis Civic Center: Miss Junior COTR is Monday October 9th at 7pm, Young Miss COTR is Tuesday October 10th at 7pm and Little Miss COTR is Wednesday October 11th at 6pm.

Lawler wins Young Miss COTR 2016

10-4-16 -- Demopolis, Ala. -- Anne Marie Lawler was crowned Young Miss Christmas on the River 2016 tonight at the Demopolis Civic Center.

10-4-16 — Demopolis, Ala. — Anne Marie Lawler was crowned Young Miss Christmas on the River 2016 tonight at the Demopolis Civic Center.

Another pageant queen is in the books as Young Miss Christmas on the River 2016 was crowned at the Demopolis Civic Center tonight.

Master of Ceremonies Dr. Ken Tucker presented each of the 36 lovely contestants. After they each took a turn to impress the three judges, a top 16 was chosen.

The top 16 included Sara Michael Overmyer, Madelyn Baty Singleton, Elizabeth Anne Lawler, Elleigh Reid Dossett, Jaclynn Danielle Doss, Millie Grace Hill, Adalyn Broox Lindsey, Sasser Elizabeth Braswell, Anna Caroline Davidson, Rylie Abigail Craft, Emery Elizabeth Wideman, Lauren Olivia Tripp, Anna Arrington Freeman, Isabella Rosemond Mac Lennan, Elizabeth Ann Hathcock and Alle Grace Quarles.

The top 16 were then presented to judges again in hopes of being placed in the top five and competing for the crown by answering an onstage question. After telling the judges what their favorite Christmas present was and why, the judges came to a decision.

Wearing and ivory and sparkling gold ball gown was fourth alternate Adalyn Broox Lindsey.

Elleigh Reid Dossett, in a sea foam green tiered organza gown, was awarded third alternate.

Second Alternate was Sara Michael Overmyer, who wore a white tulle gown adorned with iridescent stones.

Donning a glistening golden gown was Millie Grace Hill, who earned the first alternate spot.

Crowned Young Miss Christmas on the River 2016 was Elizabeth Anne Lawler in a beautiful white chiffon gown with crystal detailing. Elizabeth is the 10-year-old daughter of Jimmy and Anne Marie Lawler. She attends U. S. Jones and is in the fifth grade. Lawler said she was very surprised to be crowned and looks forward to riding on the float as this year’s Young Miss COTR.

Follow The Watchman to find out the final winner in this year’s Christmas on the River Pageants tomorrow night.

10-4-16 -- Demopolis, Ala. -- Anne Marie Lawler (center) was crowned Young Miss Christmas on the River 2016 tonight at the Demopolis Civic Center. Members of her court are (l-r) fourth alternate Adalyn Broox Lindsey, second alternate Sarah Michael Overmyer, Miss Lawler, first alternate Millie Grace Hill and third alternate Elleigh Reid Dossett.

10-4-16 — Demopolis, Ala. — Anne Marie Lawler (center) was crowned Young Miss Christmas on the River 2016 tonight at the Demopolis Civic Center. Members of her court are (l-r) fourth alternate Adalyn Broox Lindsey, second alternate Sarah Michael Overmyer, Miss Lawler, first alternate Millie Grace Hill and third alternate Elleigh Reid Dossett.

Harrison crowned Miss Junior COTR 2016

10-2-16 -- Demopolis, Ala. -- Miss Junior Christmas on the River 2015 Buckley Nettles (right) crowns Molly Katherine Harrison (left) as Miss Junior COTR 2016 at the Demopolis Civic Center.

10-2-16 — Demopolis, Ala. — Miss Junior Christmas on the River 2015 Buckley Nettles (right) crowns Molly Katherine Harrison (left) as Miss Junior COTR 2016 at the Demopolis Civic Center.

Christmas on the River 2016 pageant week continued with the crowning of Miss Junior COTR 2016. Allen Bishop served as the Master of Ceremonies at the event which started at 7 p.m. at the Demopolis Civic Center. Bishop announced each of the 19 beautiful young ladies vying for this year’s title and her court. Each contestant was judged on her beauty, style, poise and onstage personality before the top 10 were selected.

Tonight’s top 10 were Megan Lindsey Roe, Cassidy Claire Crawford, Brianna Gandy Doss, Abigayle Marie Quinney, Molly Katherine Harrison, Anna Kate Golden, LaCher Gray, Abby Grace Cameron, Taylor Alysse Dunklin and Abigail Virginia Hathcock.

The contestants were then judged again to reveal the top five, who would answer an onstage question in hopes of impressing the judges one last time. After the judges deliberated and turned in their scores, the queen and her court were chosen.

Fourth alternate Megan Lindsey Roe wore an elegant red chiffon gown.

Cassidy Clair Crawford, wearing a lavender chiffon gown adorned in crystals, was awarded 3rd alternate.

Wearing a pale peach sparkle tulle gown was second alternate LaCher Gray.

Earning first alternate was Abby Grace Cameron, in a beautiful white chiffon evening gown with crystal detailing.

This year’s Miss Junior Christmas on the River is Molly Katherine Harrison, who wore a lovely ivory satin ball gown with intricate pearl and crystal detailing. Molly is the 12-year-old daughter of Valley and Julie Harrison and is a seventh grader at Demopolis Middle School. Harrison was very surprised when her name was announced and is looking forward to attending all of the Christmas on the River events this year.

Stay tuned to The West Alabama Watchman for more Christmas on the River pageant winners to come.

10-2-16 -- Demopolis, Ala. -- Molly Katherine Harrison (center) was crowned Miss Junior COTR tonight at the Demopolis Civic Center. Members of her court are (l-r) third alternate Cassidy Claire Crawford, first alternate Abby Grace Cameron, Miss Harrison, second alternate LaCher Gray and fourth alternate Megan Lindsey Roe.

10-2-16 — Demopolis, Ala. — Molly Katherine Harrison (center) was crowned Miss Junior COTR 2016 tonight at the Demopolis Civic Center. Members of her court are (l-r) third alternate Cassidy Claire Crawford, first alternate Abby Grace Cameron, Miss Harrison, second alternate LaCher Gray and fourth alternate Megan Lindsey Roe.

Sweet Water’s Washington crowned Miss Christmas on the River 2016

10-1-16 -- Demopolis, Ala. -- Miss Christmas on the River 2016, Anna Caroline Logan, crowns JaKeira Shardell Washington as Miss Christmas on the River 2016 on Saturday evening at the Demopolis Civic Center.

10-1-16 — Demopolis, Ala. — Miss Christmas on the River 2016, Anna Caroline Logan, crowns JaKeira Shardell Washington as Miss Christmas on the River 2016 on Saturday evening at the Demopolis Civic Center.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, 22 beautiful and elegant young ladies competed for the title of Miss Christmas on the River 2016. Demopolis Mayor Mike Grayson served as Master of Ceremonies and introduced each lovely young lady at the Demopolis Civic Center. The contestants had already competed earlier in the day during the personal interview portion of the pageant. At 7 p.m., they were dressed and ready to impress the judges with their grace, poise and beauty in the onstage portion.

After all of the ladies were presented, the judges selected a top 10 which included Caroline Overmyer, Sally Katherine Mackey, Emily Brooke Garret, Sue Ellen Marie Broussard, Anne Burtram Harrison, Hannah Lee Howell, Anna Michael Rhyne, JaKeira Shardell Washington, Sidney Allen Atkins and McKenzie Lain Walker.

All 10 ladies then walked the stage with their beauty and grace again, in hopes of being called back as members of the final top five where they would be asked two questions. The first question was about their college aspirations and for the second, they were asked what they thought was the most important issue facing teens today. These questions gave the judges insight to who would make the best representative for Miss Christmas on the River.

The scores were tallied and the stage was set for Anna Caroline Logan, Miss COTR 2015, to present the 2016 queen and her court.

Sally Katherine Mackey, wearing a beautiful white ball gown with crystal detailing, was awarded fourth alternate and Miss Congeniality.

Wearing an emerald green satin ball gown with beaded detailing was third alternate Sidney Alyn Atkins.

Second alternate was Hannah Lee Howell who wore a red chiffon evening gown encrusted with crystals on the bodice.

Sue Ellen Marie Broussard was named first alternate as she wore a sophisticated green mermaid style gown.

The highlight of the evening was when JaKeira Shardell Washington, wearing a very elegant white satin evening gown, was named as Miss Christmas on the River 2016. Washington is the daughter of Joseph Johnson and Kesia Washington and is a junior at Sweet Water High School.

“I was very shocked but I am deeply honored to represent this year’s title,” Washington said, when asked how she felt about being this year’s Miss Christmas On The River.

10-1-16 -- Demopolis, Ala. -- JaKeira Shardell Washington (center) was named Miss Christmas on the River 2016 at the Demopolis Civic Center on Saturday evening. Members of Washington's court are (l-r) third alternate Sidney Alyn Atkins, first alternate Sue Ellen Marie Broussard, Washington, second alternate Hannah Lee Howell and fourth alternate and Miss Congeniality Sally Katherine Mackey.

10-1-16 — Demopolis, Ala. — JaKeira Shardell Washington (center) was named Miss Christmas on the River 2016 at the Demopolis Civic Center on Saturday evening. Members of Washington’s court are (l-r) third alternate Sidney Alyn Atkins, first alternate Sue Ellen Marie Broussard, Washington, second alternate Hannah Lee Howell and fourth alternate and Miss Congeniality Sally Katherine Mackey.

Lighting a candle for Hope

Demopolis, Ala. - 12-8-2015 - Family and friends gather at the downtown Demopolis square at a memorial for Hope Vann.

Demopolis, Ala. – 12-8-2015 – Family and friends gather at the downtown Demopolis square at a memorial for Hope Vann.

Over 250 family and friends gathered in the Demopolis Square tonight to light a candle in remembrance and celebration of Hope Vann’s life. Many shared their stories of Hope and what she meant to them. We laughed, cried, prayed and sang but above all, we came together to honor Hope.

It is so hard to sit here and write about someone that you have spent a good amount of time with the past two years. For those of you that don’t know, I have worked with the Demopolis High School Band Auxiliary for the past five years. Hope joined us as a dance line member two years ago. Getting to know her has been a joy. Hope has always been a ray of sunshine with a little extra fire in her.

She loved life and tried to live it to its fullest. Above anything, she loved to dance and she was a beautiful dancer.

Her memory will always burn bright within all of our hearts and she will never be forgotten.

Services for Hope
Visitation will be Thursday, December 10th from 5pm to 8pm at First Baptist Church of Demopolis.
The funeral will be Friday, December 11th at 2pm at First Baptist Church of Demopolis.

Hill crowned Little Miss COTR

Millie Grace Hill was crowned Little Miss Christmas on the River 2015 at the Demopolis Civic Center.

Millie Grace Hill was crowned Little Miss Christmas on the River 2015 at the Demopolis Civic Center.

Tonight concluded the Christmas on the River pageants with the crowning of the Little Miss Christmas on the River at the Demopolis Civic Center. The Mistress of Ceremonies, Debbie Butler, announced 39 of the sweetest and cutest contestants of all the pageants. After the parade of contestants, they announced the top 15 as follows: Kni’ Aamora Shaniese Taylor, Susanna Gray Bell, Camryn Ballard, Claire Elizabeth Hasty, Jadie Harper Hasty, Elleigh Reid Dossett, Ava Presley Williams, Millie Grace Hill, Mary Carlton Parten, Jacklynn Danielle Doss, Kylie Elizabeth Stokes, Whitney Grace Harrington, Anna Kate Morrison, Emma Rae Claire Dahl, and Madelyn Grace Maroney.

After a second look from the judges and the presentation of all the previous nights’ winners, it was time to announce the new Little Miss Christmas on the River 2015 and her court.

Fourth alternate, Kni’ Aamora Shaniese Taylor, was wearing a beautiful ruffled orange iridescent gown. She is the daughter of Tiffany Taylor and Jeremy Huggins. Taylor attends Westside Elementary and is in the second grade.

Kylie Elizabeth Stokes was awarded third alternate wearing a sparkling royal blue ball gown. Kylie is the daughter of Wayne and Heather Stokes and is a second grader at Westside Elementary.

Wearing a ruffled shimmering pink gown was second alternate, Emma Rae Claire Dahl. Emma Rae is the daughter of Jason and Sunni Dahl and is a kindergartner at Southern Academy.

First alternate, wearing a sweet ivory ruffled dress, was Claire Elisabeth Hasty. She is the daughter of Jared and Rebecca Hasty. Claire attends Westside Elementary and is in kindergarten.

Crowned Little Miss Christmas on the River 2015 was Millie Grace Hill, wearing a gorgeous fuchsia ruffled gown. She is the daughter of Willy and Dana Hill. Millie attends Westside and is in second grade. Hill was surprised to win and looks forward to riding in the COTR parade and attending all of the events.

You can see all of the winners at the COTR events starting Dec. 2 with the lighting of the Love Light Tree and announcement of the COTR Special Child at Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital at 5 p.m.

Members of the Little Miss Christmas on the River 2015 court are (L-R): third alternate Kylie Elizabeth Stokes, second alternate Emma Rae Claire Dahl, Little Miss COTR 2015 Millie Grace Hill, first alternate Claire Elisabeth Hasty and fourth alternate Kni'Aamoa Shaniese Taylor.

Members of the Little Miss Christmas on the River 2015 court are (L-R): third alternate Kylie Elizabeth Stokes, second alternate Emma Rae Claire Dahl, Little Miss COTR 2015 Millie Grace Hill, first alternate Claire Elisabeth Hasty and fourth alternate Kni’Aamoa Shaniese Taylor.