21 local teens to compete for Bear Paw Pageant crowns
College scholarships and Bear Paw bragging rights are on the line Thursday, July 12, at the Steve Primis Auditorium, where 19 young women will be joined by two young men on the stage for the 29th edition of the Bear Paw Pageant.
The pageant — which began in 1989 — is back again this year after taking a one-year hiatus in 2016. Last year’s Miss Bear Paw Queen was Shannon O’Hare, with Michal Treder named Bear Paw King. Other honorees were prince Jon Streff, princess Casey McCormick and ambassador Danielle Stam.
Judging in the contest is based on a personal interview, stage presence, the costume competition and the formal wear competition.
Deb Morton is this year’s pageant director, and the pageant is sponsored by the Chugiak-Eagle River Women in Business, the Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions and the Chugiak-Eagle River Foundation.
Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce executive director Debbie Rinckey said the annual pageant awards $1,000 scholarships for the king and queen, plus $500 for the prince and princess. The pageant also awards two $500 community service scholarships.
Rinckey said contestants have been hard at work getting ready for the big show.
“They have to practice for a week or two before,” she said.
Once the pageant is over, the contestants’ work really begins. Rinckey said the participants help out with a variety of events ranging from the Teddy Bear Picnic to the pie-eating contest.
“They come to most all of the events,” she said.
This year’s contestants include Allison Vincent, Cheyenne Young, Victoria Haakenson, Vincent Miller, Kylie Williams, Shanishia Campbell, Jadynn Henegar, Victoria Gilquist, Julie Rebek-Henegar, Brenden Marks, Tristania Dodd, Dakoma Epperly-May, Sarah Dykman, Kaylee LaTocha, Dylanne Easter, Kateri Miller, Hailey Williams, Gena Ferguson, Katie Fletcher, Sydney Kelley and Kylie Watts.
The pageant begins at 7 p.m., with a $5 admission fee.
For more information on Bear Paw events, visit the festival website at bearpawfestival.com.