By Jordan Green
TROY — The Troy Strawberry Festival Queen Pageant, back for the first time since 2019, recently took place on May 6 at the Arbogast Performing Arts Center.
Contestants competed for the honors of being named the Strawberry Queen and the First and Second Attendants and to represent Troy at the upcoming Strawberry Festival.
Madison Dixon, a senior at Troy High School, was named Strawberry Queen. Hannah Brooks, a junior at Troy High School, and Jackie Harris, a student at Bethel High School, were named the first and second attendants, respectively.
The pageant process begins with an application and a biography. Once accepted, contestants had a full week of rehearsals, during which they prepared for the talent portion of the contest.
On the night of the event, contestants began with an offstage interview done by a panel of three judges. Then made their way to the stage.
“Each girl was able to truly show of their own personal touch and self by walking down the aisles and posing several times. I believe that this was super important as we were able to have our own individual moments to display our personality and who we were to the judges,” said Harris.
From there, they went on to introductions and showing off formal wear. Then came the talent portion.
“I danced because it is my favorite passion, and I was very excited to show off a self-choreographed routine. It was hard to create and perfect under time constraints, but I am very happy with how it turned out,” said Dixon.
Harris chose to sing her rendition of “Fly” by Maddie and Tae and Brooks performed on the piano.
After the talent portion, contestants were interviewed on stage and asked both personal questions related to their biographies and random questions designed by the judges.
“I was asked, ‘What does inner beauty mean to you?’ I feel that inner beauty is truly defined on how we feel about and view ourselves, as we can’t truly convey beauty unless we believe we are beautiful,” said Harris.
The Queen and her Court expressed nothing but positive sentiments about the pageant.
“The best part was definitely the friendships that we made and hanging out in the dressing room. We had the best conversations and so many laughs,” said Brooks with Harris and Dixon both sharing similar feelings.
The winners of the pageant will represent Troy at the Strawberry Festival and have a chance to connect with their community. All were excited about the prospect.
“I love talking about our community with those who aren’t from our town. This is an opportunity to spread what we’re all about. I am excited to eat lots of delicious strawberry treats as well!” said Dixon.
“I hope that during the Strawberry Festival I am able to connect with people through my experience during the pageant, and all that I was able to learn, like what inner beauty truly means, and other things like success and confidence,” said Harris.
“It means a lot to me. Because I get to represent not only myself, but all my friends and family who helped me along the way. It is going to be really good to represent everyone,” said Brooks.
The Queen and her Court will be at the 2022 Troy Strawberry Festival taking place on June 4 and 5 in downtown Troy.