Hernando-DeSoto_Historical-Society-tri-color

2024 QUEEN'S COURT

Williams, Alexis

Queen Alexis Isabella Williams​

Alexis is the 18-year-old daughter of Christopher Williams and Maria Nicolini. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She is a 2023 graduate of Palmetto High School, and her hobbies include baton twirling, teaching baton, dance, and spending time with her family. Alexis attends State College of Florida where she is pursuing her degree in nursing. She plans to become a neonatal intensive care travel nurse.

Sponsored by James & Ashley Purmort & Superior Rescreening

Bunce, Kinsey_Headshot

Princess Kaylah Lynn Gunst

Kinsey is the 18-year-old daughter of Toni and Stephen Bunce. She has brown hair and blue eyes. She is a 2023 graduate of Palmetto High School and enjoys weightlifting, reading novels and traveling. Kinsey is currently attending Hillsborough Community College to pursue a degree in nursing. In the future she has plans to become a nurse anesthetist for the Veterans Administration.

Sponsored by Hascall-DenkeClearview Windows & Wood, Inc.

Bird, Briana_Headshot

Briana Makenzie Bird

Briana is the 20-year-old daughter of Dennis and Alison Simmons. She has brown hair and blue eyes. Briana is a 2021 graduate of Palmetto High School, and enjoys twirling, attending church, and going to the beach. She is currently attending Manatee Technical College where she is earning a degree in Pediatric Nursing.

 

Clarkson,. Taylor

Taylor Ann Clarkson

Taylor is the 19-year-old daughter of Tracy Clarkson. She has light brown hair and brown eyes. She is a 2022 graduate of Khan academy. Her hobbies include reading, building Legos and playing video games. Taylor also loves to travel. She plans to attend USF college for Nursing to pursue her nursing degree. In the future Taylor plans to become a travel nurse.

 

Sponsored by Mattresses & More & James & Ashley Purmort

Johnson, Morgan

Morgan Lee Johnson

Morgan is the 20-year-old daughter of Matthew and Rebekkah Johnson. She has blonde hair and green eyes. She is a 2022 graduate of Sarasota High School, and she enjoys weightlifting, art, and beef cattle production. Morgan’s future plans include increasing more Brahma cattle in Manatee and Sarasota shows and production.

 

Shawley, Taryn

Taryn Elizabeth Shawley

Taryn is the 20-year-old daughter of Brent and Andrea Shawley. She has blonde hair and green eyes. Taryn is a 2023 graduate of Inspiration Academy. Her hobbies include cooking, weightlifting, gymnastics, and journaling. She plans to attend the State College of Florida where she will pursue a degree in psychology. She desires to become a couples and family therapist.

 

Sponsored by Leticia Ownbey & Andre Padilla & James & Suncoast Cooperative

HISTORY OF THE QUEEN'S COURT

For over 75 years, the De Soto Heritage Festival has celebrated the intellect and talent of a select group of special young women from the community by electing them to the De Soto Queens Court.  Each member of the court receives a scholarship and serve as goodwill ambassadors for the Hernando de Soto Historical Society and Manatee County through the following spring.

HOW WE ELECT OUR QUEEN'S COURT

Candidates are recommended by the community and then the Hernando de Soto Historical Society makes its choices on the basis of character, scholastic ability, high morals, and personality.

PAST QUEEN'S COURT

Briana Makenzie Bird - De Soto Court 2023

Briana Makenzie Bird

Briana is the 19 year old daughter of Dennis and Alison Simmons. She has blonde hair and blue eyes. Briana is a 2021 graduate of Palmetto High School, and enjoys baton twirling, attending church, and going to the beach. She is currently attending the State College of Florida where she is earning a degree in Therapy and Social Work.

Sponsored by EVO Training Center

Presley Daniale Blunkall - De Soto Court 2023

Presley Daniale Blunkall

Presley is the 19 year old daughter of James and Daniale Blunkall. She has blonde hair and green eyes. Presley graduated from Wilson Central High School in 2021 and enjoys singing and volunteering her time to local organizations. She is currently working on obtaining her real estate license and hopes to become a real estate agent in the near future.

Sponsored by Jaxx Sports Bar & Grill

Julian Anderson Grover - Hernando de Soto Queen's Court 2023

Julian Anderson Grover

Julian is the 19 year old daughter of Vance and Tami Grover. She has blonde hair and blue eyes. Julian graduated Palmetto High School in 2022, her hobbies include singing and dancing. Julian is currently attending the State College of Florida where she is earning a degree in Nursing. She hopes to pursue a career as a Travel Nurse.

Sponsored by Grover Structural Solutions

Merissa Ann Mahoney - Hernando de Soto Queen's Court 2023

Merissa Ann Mahoney

Merissa is the 19 year old daughter of Chris and Curtis Mahoney. She has blonde hair and hazel eyes. She graduated from Lakewood Ranch High School in 2022 and has a passion for the agriculture industry and showing pigs competitively. She is currently attending Hillsborough Community College where she studies Forensic Science and majors in Criminology. Her future goal is to go into the FBI or CSI. 

Sponsored by Discount Lock and Key

Brianna Alexis Peterson - Hernando de Soto Queen's Court

Brianna Alexis Peterson

Brianna is the 20 year old daughter of Melissa and Tyler Stevenson. She has brown hair and green eyes. She is a 2021 graduate of Palmetto High School and enjoys line dancing, traveling, and watching dog shows. Brianna is currently a preschool teacher and is furthering her education at the State College of Florida, where she is pursuing a degree in Elementary Education. She hopes to one day teach first grade.

Sponsored by Coast Motor Company

Shea Teagan Stockton - Hernando de Soto Queen's Court 2023

Shea Teagan Stockton

Shea is the 18 year old daughter of Holly and Shawn Stockton. She has strawberry blonde hair and hazel eyes. She graduated from Manatee High School in 2022 and loves competitive horseback riding and race cars. Shea is a self-employed face painter for local events and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Florida Gulf Coast University. She is majoring in Criminal Justice and hopes to become a Police Officer for her community in the near future. 

Sponsored by Stockton and Sons, LLC.

Rylan Danielle Walker - Hernando de Soto Queen's court 2023

Rylan Danielle Walker

Rylan is the 18 year old daughter of Rich and Tiffany Walker. She has brown hair and hazel eyes. A 2022 graduate of Braden River High School, Rylan enjoys giving back to her community, telling jokes, and listening to 60s-80s rock music. She is currently attending the State College of Florida and plans to transfer to the University of South Florida where she will dual major in Marine Biology and Physical Therapy. She hopes to pursue a career at the Florida Aquarium.

Sponsored by Eagle Nurse Consulting

HISTORY OF THE QUEEN'S COURT

For over 75 years, the De Soto Heritage Festival has celebrated the intellect and talent of a select group of special young women from the community by electing them to the De Soto Queens Court.  Each member of the court receives a scholarship and serve as goodwill ambassadors for the Hernando de Soto Historical Society and Manatee County through the following spring.

HOW WE ELECT OUR QUEEN'S COURT

Candidates are recommended by the community and then the Hernando de Soto Historical Society makes its choices on the basis of character, scholastic ability, high morals, and personality.

PAST QUEEN'S COURT