Heather Luckinbill says growing up one of her favorite parts of Guthrie’s annual 89er Day Celebration parade was getting to watch the 89er queen ride down the street on horseback.
Now, Luckinbill, 15, is getting the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream as the Guthrie High School sophomore was named as the 2012 89er Queen. The 89er Day Parade will be held Saturday, April 21 at noon.
“I grew up around horses and I used to go to the parades when I was little and I watched all the fancy horses and 89er queen ride down the road,” Luckinbill said. “I have always wanted to be a queen since I was a little girl.”
Luckinbill is the daughter of Deanna and Rodney Luckinbill. She was chosen from a group of several applicants, said Cheryl Tarter, a former 89er queen and 89er queen committee director.
When competing for the title, Luckinbill had to do a horsemanship pattern where they showed the committee they know how to ride. She also gave a speech about 89er Days and why she wanted to be queen.
“We had great competitors,” Tarter said. “It was a tough choice. We are really excited that Heather is our queen. She will be able to talk to the younger girls and get others excited about it.”
Luckinbill said she was shocked and excited when learning she was named the new queen.
“I was thinking wow really,” she said. “It didn’t kick in until we left and I was just sitting in the truck. I was screaming and jumping up and down. My mom had to tell me to calm down. I was nervous, really nervous. I’m more excited now than nervous.”
The tradition of the 89er queen started in 1938. Now the role has become a unique and fun learning opportunity.
“Heather will be able to learn about 89ers from the inside,” Tarter said. “She is going to have to speak about it at several places. She will have a new appreciation and of course a lot of fun.”
One tradition is the Queen Breakfast the morning of the parade where Luckinbill will have a chance to interact with former queens.
“This was a tradition started by my dad Raymond Ochs,” Tarter said. “It was a way to honor the current queen and also recognize the past queens.”
As part of her royalty duties, Luckinbill will give presentations during the week of the parade to civic groups and she will also participate in the 89er Celebration Chuckwagon Dinner and Western Auction on April 17 and the 89er Rodeo held April 20-21. Both events will be held at the Logan County Fairgrounds.
When she isn’t performing her queen duties, Luckinbill focuses her time on her many other activities.
Luckinbill is involved with FFA, choir and Color Guard at Guthrie High School. She also competes in barrel racing, pole bending and western pleasure. She recently went to 4H Northwest District where she won English Intermediate High Points Award.
Luckinbill plans to attend Meridian Technology Center next year and study in its pre-veterinary medicine program. She later hopes to attend Oklahoma State University and be a part of its equine team.
She said she has been able to handle both school and queen duties well.
“I have good grades so that helps a lot,” she said. “I’m not worried about my grades dropping.”
Tarter said she thinks Luckinbill will be a good ambassador for future 89er queens.
“I think Heather will help us grow it because she is still in high school and next year she can encourage people,” Tarter said. “She will have been there and done that and know what it’s like. Hopefully she will be a good ambassador for us for years to come!”