On Saturday, August 14th, I had the amazing privilege of judging the Miss Victoria pageant with my sister queen Ashley Smith (Miss International) in none other than Victoria, Texas!! I was really excited about this opportunity for several reasons. Victoria is the hometown of my other sister queen Natalie Clegg McLarty (Mrs. Texas International) and I got to sit on the other side of the judges table this time! The Victoria pageant has a very long history and has very strong community support. This was really obvious during the final competition because an empty seat was pretty hard to find! Another reason why I was excited about going to Victoria was the road trip with my mom and Ashley Smith’s mom, Becky. We had such so much fun talking about upcoming pageants, gowns, college, and of course food. It’s a girl thing…
Once we arrived in Victoria, it was pretty much the same schedule that I’m used to when I’m competing. I got up early, put on make-up, styled my hair and put on an interview suit. But this time, my interview schedule was a little longer and I was treated to breakfast AND lunch! Being a judge sure does have benefits! On the flip side, I’m not sure which is more difficult; telling judges about myself, or scoring contestants based on their communication skills and accomplishments. I loved listening to all of the girls speak about what they were passionate about and, that’s when it hit me…this is going to be fun and hard all at the same time.
After each contestant was interviewed, we had a break for a few hours before the rest of the competition. After a nice long nap, I was ready for my favorite part of any pageant…evening gown and fun fashion! All of the girls were beautiful in their gowns, but what really impressed me were their introductions. Each girl in every age category was involved in her community and very proud to be from Victoria. Then the part of every pageant that makes me nervous was about to start…onstage question and crowning. Again, the girls impressed me with their ability to answer difficult questions with ease. There is no question that these girls have worked hard and each one would have made an excellent role model as queen. So, who did take home the crown? Congratulations to;
Miss Victoria 2010 Avery Greene, Junior Miss Victoria 2010, Hunter Slusher, Young Miss Victoria 2010, Zoie Lowery, Little Miss Victoria 2010, Kennedy Dudley. My advice to the newly crowned Miss Victoria queens is to enjoy every minute, it will be over before you know it!
The excitement of the pageant was coming to a close, but there was just one more reason to eat cake. It was Natalie’s birthday, so we all went out to dinner to celebrate. It was great food and great company. It was also the first time I met Natalie’s daughter, Saige. Look out pageant world, another beautiful McLarty girl! I really had the best time in Victoria and it was so special to me because it was the first event where all of us Texas International queens were together since we were crowned. It was bitter sweet tho, because it will be a long time before all three of us are together again. It might sound cheesy, but I really do have the greatest sister queens ever, and you guys are my best friends.