Wednesday morning, the emotions hit. I woke up early for a radio interview and started tearing up while I was putting on my make-up. It is funny how emotions surprise you at unexpected times. I just started thinking about how many girls compete for the title of Miss Arkansas and have every quality needed to be Miss Arkansas. However, there is only one crown. I am so blessed that the judges last year gave me this opportunity. The title and job of Miss Arkansas has been the greatest blessing!
Wednesday morning, I headed to my dressing room to prepare for the evening's preliminary. With my dresses for pageant week coming from nine different sponsors, it took a while to organize the dress line-up. To be sure I recognized their generosity onstage, we then made out the list of thank-yous for me to say each night. We are fortunate to have so many businesses helping make our pageant successful!
Carol Martin and CJ Wilson are long time volunteers with the Miss Arkansas pageant! Couldn't do it without them!
At lunch, our destination was the Arlington Hotel for the downtown Hot Springs Rotary Club meeting. Miss Arkansas has been the keynote speaker for many years during the week of Miss Arkansas. For the first time, the contestants were also invited to eat lunch and attend the meeting. I spoke about the benefits of competing in Miss Arkansas and also about my platform on mentoring. I didn’t expect this speech to be as difficult as it was. I had to choke back the tears as I was talking about the blessing of being Miss Arkansas. Then, I got started on my mentoring stories and struggled to get the words out. I was standing in front, looking at the contestants’ faces knowing that someone will be following in my footsteps very soon! I hope to mentor the next Miss Arkansas so that she may have the best year possible!
Wednesday night was the first night of onstage competition! The opening number is full of energy and cool lighting effects, along with a 30-second dress change for Miss Arkansas! Talk about a fast change! I performed my Miss America tap dance to a remix of Mozart’s piano sonata #11. Thanks to the Marley floor, the stage is perfect for dancers! It was so much fun to perform!
Overall, the show was great! Alpha awards are given to newcomers to the Miss Arkansas Pageant. Congratulations to the Wednesday night alpha winners:
Miss Greater Hot Springs Samantha Hudon - alpha swimsuit tie
Miss Three Rivers Courtney Welsh - alpha swimsuit tie
Miss Southeast Arkansas Mary Ellen Hunthrop - alpha evening gown
Miss Ouachita Baptist University MaryLacey Thomson - alpha talent
Congratulations to the Wednesday night preliminary winners:
Miss Greater Little Rock Bethany Whitfield - talent
Miss White River Helen Wizer - swimsuit
Miss U of A Tracy Neal - evening gown tie
Miss South Arkansas Lauren Howell - evening gown tie
Miss Heart of the Ozarks Sloane Roberts - evening gown tie
After the pageant each night, we have visitation for all of the contestants to see their friends and family! I always look forward to visitation, even as Miss Arkansas!
When the whistle blows, the contestants are to report back to the chaperones and visitation is over. Since most of the girls eat little or no dinner, we have a party after preliminary competition each night in the contestant's suite! This is always a fun time!