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Miss Park Rapids Pageant will have 22 girls

The Miss Park Rapids Pageant is returning this Saturday with 22 girls participating.

"Everything is really coming together," said pageant organizer Kristine Walsh.

The event begins with a royalty reception at 5:30 p.m. Saturday followed by the pageant at 6:30 p.m. It includes four age categories so girls from kindergarten through juniors in high school can participate.

Walsh has emphasized that it is not a beauty pageant. It's focusing on building confidence and teaching the girls about public speaking.

A $250 scholarship is available for the winner of the pageant in the Miss Park Rapids category for sophomores and juniors.

Other categories include Miss Teen Park Rapids for grades 7, 8 and 9; Little Miss Park Rapids for grades kindergarten through 3; and Little Miss Park Rapids for grades 4, 5 and 6. The winner in each of these groups will receive a $50 savings bond.

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

The pageant participants had a photo shoot that was a lot of fun, Walsh said. Joel Maxwell took the photos and cosmetology students got practice with makeovers and hair styling.

Many groups in the community have been helping to organize the pageant.

Business Professionals of America students and a desktop publishing class have been working on the pageant programs. The project included researching women who have made a difference in the community.

Girls participating in the Miss Park Rapids and Miss Teen Park Rapids categories will have a private interview Saturday afternoon, which will count for 40 percent of the score and a passion statement that will count for 25 percent of the score. Eveningwear will be 25 percent of the score and active wear will be 10 percent.

The interview and passion statement will be the most important parts of the pageant, Walsh said.

The interview will consist of judges asking questions about the contestant's fact sheet, passion statement and current community events.

Judges will be looking for:

Confidence - How well does she present herself in attire and speech?

Speech - How eloquent does she speak? Can she form a complete thought and present it in an understanding manner.

Personable - How friendly is she? Does she appear to be real and approachable?

Informed - How well does she know and understand what is going on in the world around her from the local community to national current events. How well does she know the community and national government figures?

Passion - Is it thought through? How well does she know her passion? Can it be something that helps promote the community? Is her plan something that can be implemented effectively?

"The Total Package" - Does she have what it takes to be a great Miss Park Rapids?

For the passion statement, girls will need to talk about something relevant to the community.

Judges will look at how well the participant presents herself on stage and if she could put the passion, or vision into practice.

For the eveningwear and active wear competitions judges will be looking for confidence and stage presence.

Walsh said this year's pageant is setting them up for a successful pageant next year.

"I'd really like to see this grow," she said.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561