ST. GEORGE – Classy floor-length dresses and shimmering tiaras sparkled Saturday night as the Miss Washington County pageant saw Hurricane’s Aubree Christensen crowned before some 250 people at Desert Hills High School. Christensen was one of eight contestants seeking the title to represent the county over the next year and to compete for the Miss Utah crown in 2015.
Christensen’s crown came with a $2,000 scholarship, followed by First and Second attendants Morgan Bailey and Danielle Harris, both from St. George, who each received $500 scholarships.
The pageant was co-emceed by the retiring Miss Washington County 2013, McCall Spears, and newly crowned Miss Utah, Karlie Majors, who took her title just one week ago.
Gracy Langston sang the national anthem as an opener and eight excited ladies, Morgan Bailey, Mercy Jessop, Megan Church, Aubree Christensen, Mazie Ludlow, Teddi Cox, Danielle Harris and Kattie Rae Hart, danced out on stage for a group number, giving the audience and judges a preview of their talent.
The Spirit of the Pageant award was given to Mazie Ludlow from St. George, based on contestant votes for best attitude before and during the pageant.
Most Photogenic was awarded to Kattie Rae Hart from Hurricane, decided on by the pageant photographer.
Overall, it was Christensen who stood out to the judges in her personal interview, health and fitness presentation in her pink bathing suit and artistic expression in the talent portion of the pageant singing, “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” In the evening wear portion of the pageant, Christensen modeled an elegant red and beige laced gown.
“I am so ecstatic. What an amazing opportunity. All of the hard work, all the preparation and now I get to represent my county at Miss Utah? I am so excited,” Christensen said. She was also crowned Miss Hurricane in 2013.
“What an amazing opportunity she is going to have with the service opportunities she is going to get,” Majors said, “the investment in her future, the interview skills. These pageants really do teach some neat values.”
McCall Spears, Miss Washington County 2013, said handing over her title to Christensen was a bittersweet moment.
“I am excited to watch Aubrey as she takes on this role,” Spears said. “I am excited to get some time off, but it is sad at the same time.”
All of the ladies were asked what their favorite part about being involved in the pageant was. All agreed the friendship and camaraderie they had built with each other while getting ready for the pageant was the most enjoyable part.
Every lady was required to present a platform, that is, an organization or cause she will promote and represent throughout her title. Christensen chose to encourage confidence in young people outside of social media that youth often hide behind. She titled her platform: “200 likes on the inside; inspiring confidence and self esteem in youth outside of the social media.”
Wendy Sandberg, Washington County Fair chairman, presented Christensen with the Service Proposal Award, saying that the county decided this proposal would do the most good in Washington County; although the decision was not an easy one, she said.
Spears endorsed an anti-texting and driving campaign, “Buckle Up and Stop Texting,” during her time as Miss Washington County 2013. She also played a vital role in a campaign the City of St. George adopted last year called “Heads Up, Thumbs Up.” This campaign expressed the importance of putting the phone down, buckling up and paying attention while driving.
Everyone who attended the pageant was challenged to take part in the pledge to always drive without being distracted by texting.
The pageant committee for Miss Washington County will begin planning the next pageant in January when dates and themes for the fair are decided.
“It is a year-long thing now that we have a new royalty,” Executive Director Karman Wilson said. “They will build a float, participate in the Washington County Fair, appear in parades all summer, be involved in the Jubilee of Trees, promote her platform, talk to students and get ready for Miss Utah.”
The Washington County Fair is the main sponsor behind the pageant. Sandberg invited everyone who attended the pageant to attend this year’s beach-themed fair called “Fairadise” on August 6-9. Newly crowned Miss Washington County and royalty will grace “Fairadise” with their presence.
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- Ladies take the stage for Miss Washington County Pageant
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