In 2007, the vision of merging philanthropy and tiara wearing in the Berry (New Iberia) was begun by the Berry Queens’ founder, Jerre Borland, with the help of Iberia Habitat for Humanity. Jerre had long stood watching the Sugar Cane Festival Parade, envisioning a group of women of all shapes, ages, and sizes, who would enhance the festivities with their blinginess, enhancements, big hair, and fabulousness. Once she joined the board of Iberia Habitat and they approached her about forming a fundraiser for their organization—Jerre had the chance to put her vision into focus. In 2008, the Berry Queens put on their First O-fficial Berry Queens’ Ball & Pageant and crowned their Her Royal Hi-ness, Queen of the Berry 2008, raising more than enough money to make the board of IHFH happy! The Berry Queens’ fun-raising event takes place the weekend before all of the Sugar Cane Festival activities begin so they can crown their new Royal Hi-ness and get ready to get their sugar on! It’s a win-win, hunnies, and each year since, the Berry Queens have participated in both the boat and the Queen’s parade and have enjoyed every minute!

Besides raising funds for Iberia Habitat, the Berry Queens have become sequined, wig- wearing, good will ambassadoresses for the City of New Iberia and Iberia parish, volunteer- ing to help with many other community events. The Berry Queens, when not dressed in tiaras and royal getups and fun-raising, are just like other women living here in New Iberia and surrounding parishes. The ladies work here, raise children here, participate in many other organizations of their choosing, and love New Iberia and want to help preserve its culture and heritage for future generations to come. The queens are proud to participate in their very own Candy Toss parade on Friday night at Bouligny Plaza. Come join them on the parade route where they will dazzle you with their blinged out golf carts as they light up Main Street and the fais do do and hand out sugary sweets! While you are there, follow their tiaras to the Big Hair Hole tent located near the stage at the fais do do. You can take pictures with the queens and/or pick up the Berry Queens’ Sugar Cane Festival koozie for a small donation to Iberia Habitat and who know? You may even get a kiss from a queen!

The Berry Queens would like to thank the Sugar Cane Festival Board for inviting them to be a part in these festivities each year and for sharing their awesome events! Come join the queens on Friday night before the Fais-do-do and when you see them, don’t forget to wave and say: “Hi-i-i-iSugah! Howyadoen!?! Kewtbandana! Tellyermama’nemIsaidhi!!!!” They will be sure to do the same!