Whitney Stires, the 2016 Miss Strawberry Queen, has enjoyed her reign over the last year promoting the festival and the City of London.
She has made many memories that will last a lifetime. Her most memorable moment was a trip to Atlantic City, New Jersey to cheer on Miss Ohio in the Miss America pageant. As a part of her community service project as queen she organized, collected items and assembled cancer care packages for the Oncology Unit and Madison Health.
During the London Strawberry Festival’s Spring Car Show, she saw her late great-grandfather’s brother Jr, Pruitt. She approached him and asked if he had a car there for the show. He pointed to his car, a 1969 Plymouth Sport Satellite Convertible.
He told her that he wanted to bring the car to the show in hopes of offering it for the queen to ride in during the festival’s parade. He had no idea his brother’s great-granddaughter was the reigning queen. Pruitt said he wants to drive in one last local parade before it’s his time to join his brother, James (Bud) Pruitt aka Pepaw to Stires.
The car made it’s debut in 1970 during a London’s Fourth of July parade. It has been across the United States from Mt. Rushmore to Niagara Falls. In 1980 it was stolen but later retrieved in Arkansas.
Call it fate or a coincidence, but Stires and Pruitt feel that Bud or Pepaw had a hand in bringing them together for her final farewell as the 2016 London Strawberry Queen.