Katie Honeycutt (center) was crowned the 2019 National Watermelon Queen Feb. 24. John Gee, the association's first vice president, and 2018 National Watermelon Queen Savannah Christensen, join Honeycutt on stage. ( Chris Koger )

WAIKOLOA, Hawaii — Katie Honeycutt, the 2018 North Carolina Watermelon Queen, is the new National Watermelon Queen.

Honeycutt, 21, was chosen from the eight watermelon queens who’ve represented their state/regional groups over the past year. She was crowned Feb. 24 during the awards banquet at the National Watermelon Association Conference, which was off the mainland for the first time in 105 years.

Honeycutt will represent the association in promoting watermelons at events ranging from festivals, retail store samplings and even visits with legislators as ambassadors for the industry. She’s majoring in agriculture education and agribusiness management at North Carolina State University. Honeycutt is the daughter of Barry and JoAnne Honeycutt of Angier, North Carolina.

The first runner-up was Gabrielle Hastings, the 2018 Mar-Del Watermelon Queen. Hastings, 19, is attending the University of Delaware, studying psychology/pre-med. She is the daughter of Jeff and Kim Hastings of Bethel, Del.

The second runner-up was Sara Jane Levine, the last Alabama Watermelon Queen. Alabama’s organization has been renamed the Gulf Coast Watermelon Association, and now includes the Mississippi and Louisiana watermelon industries. Levine, 20, is studying apparel merchandising with a minor in business at Auburn University. She’s the daughter of Mark and Gretchen Levine, Enterprise, Ala.

Hannah Crisp, the Texas Watermelon Queen, was named Miss Jubilee, similar to the “Miss Congeniality” award. Crisp, 23, is majoring in nursing at East Texas Baptist University.