SHADYSIDE - Bre Lappert, a senior at Shadyside High School who was crowned 2013 Homecoming Queen, has been chosen to be a part of AutoZone's Liberty Bowl Football Classic, along with other high school homecoming queens from across the nation.
Held annually on New Year's Eve in Memphis Tennessee, the Liberty Bowl Classic began 55 years ago. It is the seventh-oldest college bowl game, founded on principles of freedom, liberty, and patriotism.
Homecoming queens will be a part of the Beale Street Parade, held the day before the game at 3 p.m. A crowd of thousands of fans will watch the parade on the historic Memphis street and the queens and their guests will be able to stay afterward and enjoy live music.
The game kicks off on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 3 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN. The homecoming queens will be escorted onto the football field by Tennessee Air National Guardsmen to be a part of pre-game ceremonies.
They will also participate in half-time while a nationally-known entertainer performs. Last year's musical entertainent was The Temptations. The Liberty Bowl is notable for patriotic pageantry, so the queens will be wearing white as part of the "Red, White, and Blue" theme. They will also sport their tiaras and sashes.
While the game and parade are once-in-a-lifetime extravaganzas to participate in, Lappert said she wanted to go because of a special visit the homecoming queens will take part in. Queens will receive a tour of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and have a luncheon with representatives from the hospital and the Liberty Bowl. The queens will be able to visit with children in the hospital.
"I love kids, I'm planning on being an early childhood teacher", said Lappert. She also remarked that she supports the efforts of St. Jude. A research hospital dedicated to finding cures for cancer and other diseases in children, St. Jude is a charitable partner of the Liberty Bowl. Families do not pay for treatment at St. Jude, so fundraising is vitally important to the hospital. Children from the hospital will participate in halftime festivities alongside the homecoming queens. Again, the Liberty Bowl kicks off Dec. 31 at 3 p.m.
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