Each year a Rougarou Queen is selected to represent the festival at various events throughout the region. Previous queens were selected during a contest at the Rougarou Ball, but we have since changed our selection process. The queen is now selected from our large team of volunteers by a committee of festival organizers. This ensures that our queen is aware of the details of our festival since she has been a part of bringing our event to life in previous years.
The Rougarou Queen will reign over the parade at 7PM Saturday, October 21, 2023.
The Rougarou Fest is proud to announce that Jennifer Urbina is the 2023 Rougarou Queen! Jennifer’s gown is a commentary on the rising sea levels our community has to grapple with as flood insurance rates increase and more homes and sacred spaces are at risk of repetitive flooding. One of the two settings that was chosen for these photographs in Terrebonne Parish was La Butte. This location is an Indian mound that was constructed around AD 1000. It is 7 feet tall with a square shaped base. It was once part of a larger complex made up of up to five mounds. The oak tree that was damaged by Hurricane Ida on the northwest corner is thought to mark the grave of Houma Courteau alias Touh-la-bayne of the Biloxi Nation who owned this property between 1822-1844. The historic Picou Cemetery on top dates from 1901-1990s. This cemetery is one of Terrebonne Parish’s sacred places that is currently at risk due to rising sea levels and a changing climate.
The second location was chosen to illustrate the many marsh fires Terrebonne Parish has had to endure in 2023 due to the lack of rain and the record breaking high temperatures. These pictures are meant to recognize the challenges we are facing due to the changing climate and spur conversations on how we can maintain our cultural heritage in spite of these impacts.
Having lived in the area for the majority of her life, Jennifer attended Nicholls State University where she majored in vocal music education and minored in Art. Being a Halloween and costuming enthusiast, Jennifer has been involved with Rougarou Fest dancing with the Rougarou Witches since 2018. Prior to becoming a witch, she rode in the parade with her students singing Halloween songs and even won most creative costume in the very first Rougarou festival’s costume contest in 2012.
Jennifer is a vocal coach and owner of Song Nouveau Vocal Studio where she has been teaching singing, stage performance, audition preparation, and piano for the last 15 years. She has produced and musically directed over 45 vocal recitals and musical productions in that time. For the past two years, she has been a member of the Thibodaux Playhouse board of directors. Since becoming involved with the playhouse, she has co-directed the Rocky Horror Show on Dec22/Jan23 and The Addams Family musical last January. She has also performed in The Rocky Horror Show as Eddie, The Addams Family as Thing, and The Wicked Witch in Shrek the Musical.
She is a former rock recording artist who met her drummer, now husband of 11 years, Sully Urbina, when they played in a rock cover band together where she sang backup vocals. She is a bonus mom to his 3 awesome boys, Justin, Jacob, and Logan, and 3 spoiled dachshunds: Chili, Boudin, and Cannoli. Jennifer is over the moon to be the 2023 Rougarou Queen and would like to thank Jonathan Foret and all the volunteers for the opportunity and for making it possible for our community to have such a wonderful festival!