Queen crowned for Festival of Lights

By Beau Ebenezer

November 9, 2013 Updated Nov 9, 2013 at 11:40 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- The queen has been named for the 28th annual East Peoria Festival of Lights Pageant.

Saturday afternoon, 10 East Peoria girls were judged on their responses to a series of questions along with their walk down the runway.

The event was emceed by none other than H-O-I 19's Gretchen Wirtz.

A panel of five judges tallied up the points to crown East Peoria High School Junior, Lakin Smith as this year's Queen.

"I've always gone to the festival of lights parade every year, said Smith. "I've lived in East Peoria my whole life. I would always look at the Queen and wish I could be them one day. It is awesome to have that opportunity now."

Smith will ride in the East Peoria Festival of Lights Parade on November 23rd.

She also received a $1,000 scholarship and will act as an ambassador at events throughout the year.