With only one week until the start of the 2018 pageants for Miss Missouri and Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen, preparations are in full swing. The pageant is in its 49th year and, for one week, will host 57 contestants. Thirty will compete for the title of Miss Missouri while 27 will compete for the title of Miss Missouri’s Outstanding teen. There will also be 65 Show Me Princesses this year. This program pairs girls ages five to 12 with either a Teen contestant or a Miss contestant as their mentor.
Over $52,000 in scholarships will be awarded this year, one of the many reasons why the women choose to compete.
"It gives them the opportunity to develop a platform and work for things that they are passionate about in their communities and in the state," said Alice Leonatti, co-executive director of the Miss Missouri and Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teens pageant.
Leonatti said skills like interviewing, public speaking and service working are ones that the women will "take with them forever."
"Young women that tend to gravitate towards competing are women that have goals, have things that they really feel strongly about that they want to leave their community and wherever a better place because they were there," she said.
With hundreds of people from around the state traveling to Mexico, the pageant also has an economic impact. Ken Parmar, general manager of the Best Western Teal Lake Inn in Mexico, said that, though he does not know the exact numbers, they are typically fully booked for four or five nights.
"(It is) having a good impact on the community since it's bringing some business to the town," he said. "We always are busy, so we love that."
Several area girls participating
A handful of Hannibal-area girls are participating in the Miss Outstanding Teen contest.
Miss Audrain’s Outstanding Teen is Taylor Blackwell of Frankford. She is the daughter of Troy and Amy Blackwell. Taylor is a student at Bowling Green High School. Her platform is Readers Are Leaders and she will sing for the talent portion of the competition. Miss Hannibal’s Outstanding Teen is Rylee Ingram of Palmyra. She is the daughter of DD and Mark Ingram. Rylee is a student at Palmyra High School. She will sing for the talent portion of the competition. Miss Heart of the Ozarks is Chloe Mitchell of Hannibal. She is the daughter of James and Anna Lemon. Chloe attends Hannibal High School. Her platform is Volunteering Making a Difference in OUR Communities and she will also sing for the talent portion of the competition. Miss Mark Twain’s Outstanding Teen is Cheyenne Smith of New London. She is the daughter of Derek and Melissa Smith. She attends the Hannibal Public School District. She will sing for the talent portion of the competition. Miss Route 66’s Outstanding Teen is Mallory Sublette of Palmyra. She is the daughter of Jessica Sublette and attends Palmyra High School. She will perform a drum solo for the talent portion of the competition.
Sunday, June 10: Miss Missouri Golf Tournament
Monday, June 11: Teen contestants will arrive and rehearsals will be held
Tuesday, June 12: rehearsals will be held and the teen contestants will participate in panel interviews; a dress rehearsal will be held at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, June 13: Miss Missouri contestants will participate in interviews and rehearsals will be held; the preliminary competition will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Missouri Military Academy Gymnatorium
Thursday, June 14: preliminary competition for the Teen contestants from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Missouri Military Academy Gymnatorium; Miss Missouri preliminary competition at 7:30 p.m. in the Gymnatorium
Friday, June 15: rehearsals, Miss Missouri Outstanding Teen Finals, Miss Missouri swimsuit competition; the Show Me Princesses will have a production number; the crowning of Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen 2019 will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Missouri Military Academy Gymnatorium
Saturday, June 16: a parade around the Square and an autograph signing session will take place at 10 a.m.; the Miss Missouri finals and crowning of Miss Missouri 2019 will take place at 7 p.m. in the Missouri Military Academy Gymnatorium