Pageant to be revived on Sunday

By The Mercury

A pageant that used to be one of the mainstays of the city’s social and cultural scene will resume for the first time in 15 years this weekend.

Organizers said Wednesday they are resurrecting the Miss Manhattan and Miss K-State Wildcat pageant as a preliminary to the Miss Kansas competition. The pageant will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in Forum Hall in the K-State Union.

The area for many years annually conducted a Miss Manhattan-K-State preliminary to the Miss Kansas pageant, but it was discontinued in the mid 1990s. If the winner goes on to win the Miss Kansas title, she will qualify to represent the state at next year’s Miss America pageant.

Diane Paukstelis, director of the local pageant, noted that Miss America is the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women, with more than $45 million in scholarships distributed annually. She said Miss America also has a strong focus on civic engagement, with local and state contestants dedicating almost 600,000 hours and raising millions of dollars for worthy causes every year.

The co-hosts are Miss Kansas 2011, Carissa Kelly, and B104’s morning host, Megan Vaughn.

Judges will be State Rep. Sydney Carlin of Manhattan; Lyle Butler, executive director for the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce; Lori Able, owner of Ann-A-Lee’s; Julie Pentz, head of the Dance Department at Kansas State University; and Deana Core, assistant director of Admissions at Kansas State University and Miss Manhattan 1997.

Paukstelis said eight women will be competing. To be eligible, a woman must be between the ages of 17-24, single and never married, and live within 100 miles of Manhattan. K-State students qualify.  Areas of competition are interview, swimsuit, evening gown, talent presentation, and on-stage question.

At the end of the evening, two representatives will be crowned. Both will receive a cash scholarship, prize package donated by local merchants, and both will advance to the Miss Kansas pageant this summer in Pratt.

Tickets are available at the door, priced at $20 for adults and $10 for children.

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