monmouth county cotillionmonmouth county cotillionThree-year-old Heaven Lane of of Red Bank gets an up-close look at royalty as Briana Argant, named Queen of the Monmouth County Cotillion, poses for photos in Riveside Gardens Park Saturday morning.

The cotillion, an intense four-month program in etiquette, public speaking and other qualities for minority students graduating from Monmouth County high schools, normally holds its annual scholarship indoors.

But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 70th edition of the event was held the town where the cotillion was born for a brief outdoor, socially-distanced ceremony.

Both this year’s queen, Briana Argant, and king, Tony Owens, graduated from Neptune High School.

Among the debutantes and escorts were Makayla Dawson Daily of Red Bank, a recent graduate of Red Bank Regional High who plans to attend Montclair State University and major in psychology; Jameerah Whitley, also of RBR, who will attend Columbia College Hollywood to major in cinematography; and Zuri Mondesir, also of Red Bank, a recent graduate of Christian Brothers Academy who plans to major in computer science at Loyola University.

 (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)