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!

Citrus Queens

1924 Dorothy Henderson
1930 Ruth Snyder
1931 Bertha Knight (Mrs. Hub Myers)
1932 Kathleen Kelly (Mrs. A. R. Hanson)
1933 Mary Lou Moore
1934 Marjorie Giddens
1935 Betty Runkle (Mrs. Harlan Jameson)
1936 Bee Huyck (Mrs. John Friesner, Jr.)
1937 Doris Harrison
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)
1942 Iveane Hall
1943 Sylvia Chambliss (Mrs. John McElvey)
1944 n/a
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.)
1958 Kay MacLean
1959 Sandra Freeman (Mrs. E. Duke Vincent)
1960 Florence Cloud (Mrs. Jerry Imber)
1961 Sandra Guthrie
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)
1968 Lynne Allen
1969 Kathy Young
1970 Suzanne Rogers (Mrs. Bill Boose)
1971 Sue Comer
1972 Christine Couldron (Mrs. John Masters)
1973 Wanda Lynn Miller
1974 Debi Adair
1975 Sonya Surrency
1976 Candace Upthegrove
1977 Lisa Maile
1978 Lisa Lyon
1979 Nancy Ness
1980 Theresa Mahoney
1981 Brenda Eubanks (Mrs. Alan Burnette)
1982 Dawn Griffin
1983 Deidre Perkins

 Miss Florida Citrus

1984 Lori Schirard (Mrs. Dale Grubb)
1985 Vicki Lynne Carver
1986 Rosemarie Payne
1987 Renee McLeod
1988 Judy Berretto
1989 Sherry Hensley
1990 Laura Benefield
1991 Mandy Hancock
1992 Sheri Cook
1993 Emily Howell
1994 Tobitha Bryant
1995 Candy Griffin
1996 Dana Morgan
1997 Becka Cerni
1998 Shannon Potts
1999 Kim Duppenthaler
2000 Kimber Wood
2001 Jennifer Peavey
2002 n/a
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!