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Miss Park Rapids returns under new leadership


The Miss Park Rapids Pageant is returning after more than a decade.

The pageant, slated for Saturday, April 10, will include four age categories so girls from kindergarten through junior year can participate. The deadline to enter is Monday, March 22.

Kristine Walsh, an organizer of the event, is stressing that it's not a beauty pageant.

"This will be about building confidence, learning about public speaking," she said.

A 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.

"This is more about girl power than anything else," Walsh said.

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

Joel Maxwell and Savannah Tate are also involved in organizing the pageant. Tate is former Miss Moorhead and is offering her experience from that pageant. Maxwell will do photo shoots for the girls.

The pageant begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 10 at Park Rapids Area High School Auditorium. A royalty reception will be at 5:30 p.m. Anyone in the community who has been royalty is encouraged to attend.

Walsh has been talking with other organizations in the area, including the dance studios, Girl Scouts, hockey and figure skating. She would like to have some of these groups set up a table before the event.

Walsh has also been working with Business Professionals of America students at the high school. That group will put together a program for the event and research 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, which will count for 40 percent of the score and a passion statement that will count for 25 percent of the score. Evening wear 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 evening wear and active wear competitions judges will be looking for confidence and stage presence.

There is a fee to enter the pageant. The deadline is approaching quickly to enter.

For more information, contact Walsh at Park Avenue School of Cosmetology, 732-2962 or 255-2342. Her e-mail is

Little Miss Park Rapids participants won't be in competition with each other.

"It will be about participation," Walsh said.

A winner will be chosen by a random drawing in those categories.

Walsh is hoping to expand the pageant in future years and make it a self-sustaining program.

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