By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Since its inception, the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival has grown tremendously, but it has continued to follow many traditions throughout its history too … and one of those traditions is to officially open each year’s festival with the Coronation of Regina Maria who strolls the streets during the three-day street fair meeting and greeting the throngs of people who attend.
As is customary, Regina Maria XL will have her crown placed atop her head at noon in front of the Harrison County Courthouse this Friday, August 31st, to kick off 2018’s 40th annual Labor Day weekend event. This is typically the WVIHF’s way of saying, “Benvenuto … let the celebration begin!”
Selected by the WVIHF Board of Directors from numerous applications, Bridgeport native Miranda Quinn Lang will accept the crown and reign as the 40th queen of Clarksburg’s West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival this weekend. She is the daughter of Bridgeport Mayor Andy Lang and Lisa Queen Lang.
Miranda is 23 years old, a 2013 graduate of Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, PA and a 2017 graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies. Following her graduation, she has remained in the D.C. area and just finished working for a non-profit organization that provides hygiene products to women experiencing homelessness. She plans to continue to work in that field. And even though she is miles away, Miranda also assists her mother with her business in Bridgeport – About You Monograms – helping her research brands, reaching out to wholesalers and facilitating marketing.
Miranda said that despite her family’s long history of involvement with the festival, she had really never considered being its queen. However, this year she decided to apply.
“I did not expect to be selected,” she said, “but I am…