HOLBROOK – On Sept. 11, the opening day of the Navajo County Fair, fifteen young ladies will be winners, and five will actually wear crowns for the 15th Annual Junior Miss Pageant. The pageant is not a beauty contest but a program to help young ladies build good self-image and promote good citizenship through community service.
There are five entry categories beginning with Princess, ages 3 to 5; Sweetheart, 6 to 8; Miss Pre-Teen, 9 to 11; Miss Junior Miss, 12 to 14 and Miss Teen, 15 to 18.
The entry registration is $45 for all contestants. With the registration the contestant will have access to the fair along with one extra wristband for a guest, a specially designed pageant shirt, three special workshops which assist the contestant with public speaking and learning the talent and music portion for the opening number of the pageant.
Parents will be apprised of all the information regarding the pageant at the first of three meetings which are the training dates for contestants – Aug. 24, 31 and Sept. 7.
According to the 2019 Junior Miss Pageant Director Arcenia Pacheco, this is the first year the pageant has been able to offer scholarships. Thanks to Northland Pioneer College (NPC), the winner of Miss Teen will receive a 15-credit tuition and fees scholarship for two years; the runner-up for Miss Teen will receive a $1,300 scholarship, equating to $650 for both fall and spring semesters.
After coronation, the two Teen winners will be required to purchase a personalized vinyl banner for them to wear to community events and is theirs to keep once their reign is over.
“They are the face of the Navajo County Fair,” said Pacheco. “I will be getting sponsorships and a lineup of events to get them out there and showcase the pageant.”
Who can enter? Pacheco says, “Anyone. Everybody qualifies; everybody has a talent. Often parents will say, ‘My kid does not have a talent.’ I tell them, she does. We have had everything from weightlifting, Mexican dancing, singing, baton twirling, comedy – there is something. If that is the one thing holding you back, don’t let it. If you can think it, you can achieve it. If you put your mind to it, anything is possible.”
The on-stage introduction will allow each contestant to give a two minute statement about themselves, except for the Little Princesses who will be interviewed. Pacheco said this category gets to pick what they wear, and in the past they have had unicorns and other unusual attire. It is during this time that they show how they behave themselves and provide an overall impression because they are not required to do talent.
“This shows their personality,” continued Pacheco. “The way they walk and conduct themselves during the interview.”
For the other categories, all the contestants will answer interview questions which will be geared towards getting to know them. Judges will be able to ask questions from a provided, list, but may also ask questions of their own. The way a contestant dresses, the way they speak, their personality and their confidence level will be assessed by the judges along with their talent piece.
“In past years there have been 25 to 35 contestants,” said Pacheco. “This year, with the scholarships, we could have more. I will take as many as want to enter.”
An excited and very positive Pacheco, mother of two girls herself, is looking forward to the event this year. “Every little girl wants to get dressed up,” she says. “And, for one night you are playing dress up and you can be a celebrity for that one night.”
Pacheco has sent out flyers to all of the school counselors in the Navajo County area. For anyone that may have been missed, they can contact the Navajo County Fair, Inc. office at 928-524-4757 or obtain a copy of the 88th Annual Navajo County Fair & Rodeo 2019 Premium Book at the White Mountain Independent in Show Low.
Registration deadline for the Junior Miss Pageant is August 31.