Monday, March 24, 2014

Crown City Celebration

This Sunday, I headed up to Cortland for the last local pageant of the season. Fittingly, Cortland is known as "the Crown City!" I couldn't wait to see which three young ladies would become the final members of the Miss New York Class of 2014. Over the local season, I had the chance to compete with almost every one of the seventeen contestants. It was truly a pleasure to cheer them on.

The setup of this pageant was designed to be fast and fun. The girls entered for their introduction, then answered two onstage questions each. I absolutely LOVED the onstage question portion--instead of pulling questions from a bowl, the two questions were designed for each contestant. The first question helped us to get to know a little more about each contestant personally, and the second question gave them the chance to speak about their platform.

After that, the pageant followed what I think of as the "standard" order--Lifestyle & Fitness in Swimsuit, followed by Talent, and ending with Evening Gown. The talents at this pageant were so entertaining to watch! I found myself wishing that I had not given up dancing lessons once I entered middle school. I'd love to be able to dance en pointe.

After the girls had finished all areas of the onstage competition, the audience was treated to a few performances: a theatrical performance by Allie Curtis, Miss East Greenwich 2014 in Rhode Island; a ballet routine by Amanda St. Amour, Miss Syracuse's Outstanding Teen; a vocal performance by an absolutely charming young man; a sweet rendition of "My Favorite Thing" sung by the audience and three future Miss Americas; and a performance by a singing group of the church the pageant was held in. We also got to hear from former MAO competitors, local directors, pageant moms, and pageant judges about the value of the Miss America Organization.

Finally, it was time for crowning...
 Congratulations to Jamie Hughes (Miss Liberty), Claudette Gomez (Miss Heart of New York), and Jillian Tapper (Miss Southern Tier)!

I had the chance to compete with Jamie, Claudette, and Jillian at Miss Empire Star, and they are each incredibly driven, passionate, and committed to their platforms. I am looking forward to working with them all this year, and experiencing the Miss New York pageant together!

Here are a few other pictures from the pageant. Special thanks to Robbin Manuel for taking these lovely shots! You can check out her facebook page by clicking here.

With Katelynn (Miss Empire Capital Region), Nina (Miss Salt City), and Madison (Miss Upstate New York)
Signing an autograph for one of the sweet princess performers!
Crowning Claudette, the new Miss Heart of New York!
With one of my favorite pageant sisters, Madison! She has been such a special part of my pageant journey this year!

This final shot is from my cell phone, so it isn't the clearest, but I had to feature a photo with the fabulous Anneliese, Miss Flower City! She did a great job co-hosting the pageant!

I can't believe that the local season in New York has come to an end. It feels like just yesterday that I was standing on the Miss Thousand Islands stage, making a return to the world of MAO locals and wondering if I'd get the chance to represent my community as a local titleholder and at the stage pageant. It still feels surreal that I've been given this opportunity. I intend to make the most of this year, and part of that will be spending the Miss New York pageant week with an incredible group of twenty other women striving to make a difference in New York and beyond. The Class of 2014 is ready to shake things up, both on and off the stage.

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