Wildfires have cost Flagler County one of its two signature early-summer events: the Independence Day fireworks off the Flagler Beach pier (and its parvenu copycat in Town Center for that matter).
But nothing will put out that other tradition: the annual Flagler County Scholarship Pageants.
The pageants at the Flagler Auditorium Sunday afternoon, beginning at 3 p.m., will crown a Little Miss each in the 5 to 7 and 8 to 12 categories, a Miss Junior in the 12 to 15 category, and Miss Flagler County, in the 16 to 23 category. (The younger ones are on at 3, the older ones at 7 p.m.)
And yes, for one more year, the older ones will walk the stage in bathing suits: it’s a requirement of Miss Florida USA, the umbrella organization sponsoring the event beyond Florida, and beyond Z Wave Surf Shop’s Zoee Forehand and Pageant Director Elizabeth McLaughlin (Miss Flagler County 1993).
Other components include personality, poise, conversational skills, and, for the older contestants, writing skills: the Trez G. Frassrand Scholarship Essay, which asks: Do you think a college education is important for a woman to succeed in today’s society. Why or why not? What do you think defines success in your life and who is the woman you think personifies success?”
On stage, the older contestants will each have to answer a question at random. Those questions have been contributed by the contestants themselves–one each–and distributed ahead of time so they could prepare. The questions for the older contestants include the following: “Do you believe it is OK to tell a white lie? Why or why not?” Or: “If you suddenly found the courage to do one thing you have always been afraid of doing, what would it be and why?”
The reigning Miss Flagler County is Amanda Dack, who just returned from a whirlwind worldwide tour, though last year’s Little Miss winner in the 8 to 11 category, Daviana Campbell, has been on a whirlwind tour herself–of Flagler County, where she’s been organizing dances, food drives and fund-drives for many causes (the hungry, veterans, the Humane Society).
This year produced a total of 54 contestants, including eight in the older group.
In the chart below you’ll find links to all the contestants in each category this year–and last. Keep in mind: this year’s photo shoot on Flagler Beach’s sands was windy (St. Barth was all booked up). So show a little indulgence for those fugitive strands of hair.