Miranda Billings was named Junior Miss Paris. Aurea Rucker was named first runner-up for Miss Paris, while Gracie Hatton was named first runner-up for Junior Miss Paris.

Maariko Williams did not hesitate when asked whether she would like to be able to change the past or see into the future during Friday night’s 83rd Annual Miss Paris pageant.

“I would definitely choose looking into the future,” she said during the question-and-answer phase for the five Miss Paris hopefuls. “It may not be glamorous, but the past is what makes you who you are now. Being able to see into the future…you get to see the end point” of goals.

In what could be viewed as a prophetic moment, about 15 minutes later, the Paris High School senior was crowned Miss Paris.

“I did not originally plan on participating in Miss Paris this year, until my teacher Ms. (Suzy) Otto encouraged me to. I had never participated in any pageant prior to Miss Paris so when I first decided to become a contestant I did not have high expectations of winning,” she said. “With that, you can imagine my shock as my name was announced. This shock was followed by me feeling humbled and honored to be chosen to represent this town as the 2018 Miss Paris. I am beyond grateful to have received this title and hope to wear the crown with pride and honor.”

Miranda Billings was named Junior Miss Paris. Aurea Rucker was named first runner-up for Miss Paris, while Gracie Hatton was named first runner-up for Junior Miss Paris.

Williams, who plans to attend Brigham Young University this fall, said that all the contestants helped each other during the pageant preparations and rehearsals.

“I’m grateful for all the assistance and advice given to me by other contestants. I know I would not have done as well without it,” she said. “However, I knew that small amount of time together would not be enough on its own. I spent a few hours at home after each night contemplating and practicing how I would want to reply to each question, and reflecting back on what I believed my greatest accomplishment to be.”

During the question-and-answer session, Williams said that she wanted to share her feelings with the judges.

“I felt pretty confident about my answer, however winning was not what I had in mind while answering,” she said. “It was not until after I had stepped back in line that I considered the possibility. I knew that was my last chance to show the judges who I was. I felt confident about my performance throughout it all, and of course hoped I did well enough to win, but I can also say I was just as proud of each of the other girls’ performances as well and wished them the best.”

Other awards Friday night included:

Miss Paris:

Miss Congeniality: Emily Havens

Ola Mae Ball Award: Aurea Rucker

Ticket sales: Maariko Williams

Junior Miss Paris:

Miss Congeniality: Gracie Hatton

Ola Mae Ball Award: Mikayla Hayes

Ticket Sales: Emily Vaughn