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Melodie Englund was crowned Miss Park Rapids in 2010. (Anna Erickson/ Enterprise)

Participants wanted for 2011 Miss Park Rapids Pageant

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The Miss Park Rapids Pageant is returning for a second year after a successful debut last year.

The pageant, slated for Saturday, April 2, will include four age categories so girls from kindergarten through juniors can participate. The deadline to enter is Tuesday, March 8.

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Kristine Walsh, event coordinator, said this year's pageant will include many of the same elements as last year.

However, the young girls will also be competing instead of having a drawing to choose the winner.

"I attended a pageant in New York Mills and discovered these girls really are capable of holding their own," Walsh said.

The divisions include:

n Miss Park Rapids for grades 10 and 11.

n Miss Teen Park Rapids for grades 7, 8 and 9.

n Little Miss Park Rapids, for grades 4, 5 and 6.

n Little Miss Park Rapids for kindergarten through grade 3.

Last year, Melodie Englund was crowned Miss Park Rapids. She has been active throughout the year volunteering at community events.

"She hasn't been afraid to wear her crown around town," Walsh said. "It's been great to see."

She will be instrumental in this year's pageant and talking about her experiences during the last year.

Many of last year's volunteers have stepped up to help as well, Walsh said. Joel Maxwell will do photo shoots for the girls and Savannah Snyder, former Miss Moorhead, is offering her experience from that pageant. Sue Tomte will emcee the event.

Walsh, who owns Park Avenue School of Cosmetology, said her students will participate in the pageant by doing makeovers for the participants.

More volunteers are always welcome. The day of the pageant ends up being the busiest time, Walsh said.

Anyone interested in volunteering for some or all of the activities can contact Walsh at 255-2342 or 732-2962.

Walsh is also looking for a pageant coordinator for next year. This will be her last year spearheading the project but said she will be happy to consult with anyone who would like to be involved.

"It shouldn't be too difficult to keep this going with a new coordinator," Walsh said. "We have everything documented and it's running very smoothly."

The pageant itself is not a beauty contest but about building confidence and learning about public speaking. A scholarship is available for the winner of the pageant in the Miss Park Rapids category.

Competitors will participate in the photo shoot, judges' interview, evening gown, active wear and give a two minute talk about something in the community they are passionate about. They will also participate in the opening number.

The winner will receive a crown, sash and flowers. The second and third runners up will receive jewelry and flowers. They will have the opportunity to participate in community events representing Park Rapids.

The younger divisions will be focused more on participation than competition and everyone will receive a gift. The girls will participate in the party dress and athletic wear categories and will perform in the opening number, and photo shoot. They will introduce themselves and their sponsor. The winner will receive a tiara, sash and flowers.

For more information, go to the Facebook page "Miss Park Rapids Pageant" or visit www.parkavenuecosmetology.com/pages/missparkrapids.htm.

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Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
(218) 732-3364
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