More than 200 people, including 30 former dairy princesses, were present for the 50th anniversary coronation of a Lebanon County Dairy Princess.

The May 7 event at Mount Zion Road Church was organized by the Lebanon County Dairy Promotion Program to celebrate the milestone of its pageant.

Candidates for this year’s crown included Evelyn Troutman, daughter of Justin and Renee Troutman of Myerstown, and Mackenzie Thomas, daughter of Mark and Christine Thomas of Lebanon.

Both candidates were interviewed by a panel of judges and asked to give a short informational presentation and a short speech on one of several dairy related topics. Troutman shared a youth-oriented presentation about the benefits of milk in a young person’s diet and gave a speech about why the Dairy Princess program is important. Thomas geared her presentation towards an older audience with a “Wheel of Dairy” mock gameshow, followed by a speech on chocolate milk and the benefits it provides.

At the end of the evening, Troutman was crowned as the county princess by outgoing Dairy Princess Crystal Bomgardner, while Thomas was named alternate Dairy Princess.

Read More: County dairy princess promotes industry to consumers, looks forward to Lebanon Area Fair

2021-2022 Dairy Princess Crystal Bomgardner (who also happens to be a PA State Alternate Dairy Princess) crowns Evelyn Troutman as the 2022-2023 Lebanon County Dairy Princess. (Lyndsie Faith Photography)
The complete 2022-2023 Dairy Royalty. From left to right: Dairy Maid Jesslyn Risser, Dairy Maid Jocelyn Troutman, Dairy Ambassador Nolan Troutman, Alternate Dairy Princess Mackenzie Thomas, Dairy Princess Evelyn Troutman, Dairy Maid Kylee Hlavaty, L’il Dairy Miss Abigail Eberly, and Dairy Miss Madalyn Troutman. (Lyndsie Faith Photography)

During the event, former dairy princesses were asked to share a few words about their experience with the program. Royell Smith, publicity chair for the Lebanon County Dairy Promotion Program, said a recurring theme was how the opportunity helped shape them into the women they are today by providing public speaking opportunities and gaining leadership skills that they took with them into their careers. They also encourage any individual who is thinking about joining the program to do so.

The evening was capped off with an ice cream and dairy dessert social where attendees got to sample from 20 desserts entered into a “Digging into Dairy” contest. (In case you were wondering, the first-place desserts were a strawberry shortcake trifle for the youth division and a strawberry shortcake cheesecake for the adult division.)

If you are interested in making your own delicious dairy desserts, the Lebanon County Dairy Promotion Program is selling a new 305-recipe cookbook featuring recipes from the “Digging into Dairy” contest since it began in 2002, as well as other recipes provided by former dairy royalty. The cookbook, made as part of the 50th anniversary celebration, was dedicated to longtime promotion program volunteer Sherry Bashore, who passed away unexpectedly last November.

The cookbook can be purchased for $10, plus shipping, by contacting lcdairypromotion@gmail.com.

To keep up with all the activities by the promotion program locally, including appearances by the 2022-2023 dairy court, follow the Lebanon County Dairy Promotion Program on Facebook.


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