Dating back to 1924, the Florida Citrus Growers sponsored the Florida Citrus Queen Program, devoted to the promotion of the Florida citrus industry. Each year they carefully selected a young woman to serve as a goodwill ambassador througout the state, the nation, and the world. Each year the Citrus Queen would reign over the Citrus Expo & Florida Citrus Festival and even made appearances at the World’s Fair. The Florida Citrus Queen has been photographed throughout the years with celebrities, dignitaries, and even the President of the United States.
In 1983, changing with the times, the name changed to Miss Florida Citrus and the selection process changed from that of a more traditional beauty pageant to three days full of interviews, videotaping, and media/communications judging by a panel of industry leaders. The title-holder became a full-time salaried employee of the Florida Department of Citrus, and Miss Florida Citrus traveled extensively throughout the year attending national conventions and conducting numerous television, radio, and print interviews as the media spokesperson for the Florida Citrus Growers.
The year 2003 signified the end of an era as the last Miss Florida Citrus was crowned. We invite you to take a nostalgic walk down memory lane as we celebrate the heritage of the Florida Citrus Queen and Miss Florida Citrus through the years.
Do you have photographs of Citrus Queens or Miss Florida Citrus title-holders? If so, please contact the archives ([email protected]) or Citrus Hall of Fame Executive Director Brenda Eubanks Burnette ([email protected]). Thank you!
|1931||Bertha Knight (Mrs. Hub Myers)|
|1932||Kathleen Kelly (Mrs. A. R. Hanson)|
|1933||Mary Lou Moore|
|1935||Betty Runkle (Mrs. Harlan Jameson)|
|1936||Bee Huyck (Mrs. John Friesner, Jr.)|
|1938||Beth Page (Mrs. W. R. Steen, Jr.)|
|1939||Mary Frances Capp|
|1940||Leone Johnson (Mrs. J. P. Brown)|
|1941||Elizabeth Colson (Mrs. Elizabeth Golden)|
|1943||Sylvia Chambliss (Mrs. John McElvey)|
|1945||Laurel Norden (Mrs. James A. Lenfestey)|
|1946||Selma Rocker (Mrs. Claude Seagrest)|
|1947||Nance Stilley (Mrs. Dan Hains)|
|1948||Shirley Rhodes (Mrs. Gus Deilens)|
|1949||Joan Cook (Mrs. R. D. Saunders)|
|1950||Kathy Darlyn (Mrs. Paul Smith, Jr.)|
|1951||Carolyn Stroupe (Mrs. Reginald J. Sambaugh)|
|1952||Pat Burgoon (Mrs. Pat Westphal)|
|1953||Marion Ettie (Mrs. John Szurek, Jr.)|
|1954||Ann Daniel (Mrs. John Adams)|
|1955||Sally Ardrey (Mrs. Sally Fitzgerald)|
|1956||Dorothy Steiner (Mrs. John Lodge)|
|1957||Frances Layton (Mrs. Richard D. Pope, Jr.)|
|1959||Sandra Freeman (Mrs. E. Duke Vincent)|
|1960||Florence Cloud (Mrs. Jerry Imber)|
|1962||Sharon Conrad (Mrs. Jerry Adkinson)|
|1963||Sue Scarbrough (Mrs. James F. Farber)|
|1964||Nancy Collins (Mrs. Charles R. Trulock)|
|1965||Karol Kelly (Mrs. Fred Bullard)|
|1966||Lavoyce Leggett (Mrs. Lanier Porter)|
|1967||Patti Bohannon (Mrs. John Reaves)|
|1970||Suzanne Rogers (Mrs. Bill Boose)|
|1972||Christine Couldron (Mrs. John Masters)|
|1973||Wanda Lynn Miller|
|1981||Brenda Eubanks (Mrs. Alan Burnette)|
Miss Florida Citrus
|1984||Lori Schirard (Mrs. Dale Grubb)|
|1985||Vicki Lynne Carver|
|2003||Nichole “Nikki” Upthegrove|
The following video presentation was created by Mary Yurso, FSC Class of 2012, for the March 2012 50th Anniversary of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame. The anniversary festivities included a Florida Citrus Queen reunion at the Ritz Theater in Winter Haven. It includes a pictorial timeline of the queens from 1924 through 2003.
A Florida Citrus Queen/Miss Florida Citrus Facebook page group was created for the 2012 Florida Citrus Queen reunion. Enjoy!