Pageant returns to festival
After decades of absence, this year marks the return of a pageant for the Maple Leaf Festival, but it’s now a scholarship pageant, not a beauty pageant … although looks certainly don’t hurt.
The last Maple Leaf Queen was crowned in 1991. Since then, there have been no pageants associated with the festival. That’s changing this year with not just one, but two. There will be a Miss Maple Leaf and a Miss Teen Maple Leaf.
Pageant organizer Erin Jackson-Legris said Miss Maple Leaf will gain a $750 scholarship to a college of her choice, while the Miss Teen will get a $500 scholarship. But there’s more.
“Both winners will continue on to the Miss Kansas 2009 pageant where they can compete for more scholarship money and be given the chance to become Miss Kansas 2009 or Miss Teen Kansas 2009,” said Jackson-Legris.
The pageant will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Baldwin Junior High School.
“The pageant is broken down into interview skills, talent, physical fitness, evening gown and on stage interviews,” she said. “We have judges from around the state of Kansas for the Friday night competition.”
The Miss Maple Leaf candidates and their ages are Ashley Bowman, 17, Sommer Brecheisen, 18, Kristen Hingula, 21, Erica Mahan, 19, Jamie Nezler, 23, and Nicole Smith, 20. Vying for Miss Teen Maple Leaf are Billiejean Daughty and Madelynn Knisley. They are both 14.
There will be others involved with pageant festivites, too.
“The Baldwin City Dance Group will be perfomring in the pageant, as well as helping the girls to learn and perform the opening number,” said Jackson-Legris.