There's royal intrigue at the Munger Potato Festival, with Queen Allison Nowicki protesting her ouster over claims of playing hooky.

Nowicki had about six weeks left in her reign when she got a letter from the festival's queen committee dated June 4, saying it was dethroning her for failure to attend enough events as queen.

Not so, says Nowicki, who appeared at the Miss Bay County Pageant, St. Johns Mint Festival, Bay County Fair, Montrose Blueberry Festival and Linwood Pickle Festival.

"The only one I missed was the (Bay City)St. Patrick's Day Parade," Nowicki, a sophomore at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, told The Bay City Times for a Monday story. "I called the first runner-up and told her I wasn't going to make it."

First runner-up Katie Smrecak, daughter of festival chairman Don Smrecak, will serve as queen until a new king and queen are crowned July 26 at the 53rd Annual Munger Potato Festival.

Munger is an unincorporated town about 85 miles north-northwest of Detroit.

Munger said she had a school meeting that conflicted with the St. Patrick's Day Parade and couldn't make the 3 1/2-hour drive.

"To me, it wasn't about getting a crown and getting a sash — it was about getting to meet people and showing my love for Munger," Nowicki said. "Who knows if they're going to do that to next year's queen? I don't want anyone else to have to go through this."

Two queen committee members declined comment.