Fast Takes Home Sash

St. MARYS — The 2013 St. Marys Little Miss SummerFest Pageant, which took place on Wednesday evening in the Performing Arts Center of Memorial High School, started off with fun and dancing.

Eighteen girls in jean shorts and neon knee socks took the stage to the sound of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” They did their opening dance, complete with pillow fights and smiling faces.

“This kicks off our SummerFest for the week,” Master of Ceremonies John Wale said. “This is our 30th anniversary for SummerFest, and quite honestly, these ladies worked pretty hard, and they had a lot of fun. And I think you’ll see that tonight.  With this pageant, I always expect the unexpected.”

He then opened up the stage for contestants to give their introductions. The girls stated their names, ages, grades in school and parents’ names.

While the contestants prepared for the model dress round, the audience witnessed performances by Kristina’s Dance Escape, Halie McGee and Drew Houser.

Then, the 2013 SummerFest Queen Court of Queen Bailey Gottschalk and runners-up Brooke Martin, Angie Boley and Sarrah Miller, escorted each girl on stage to show off her dress. There was pink, lace, flowers and glitter galore.

The last contestant, Ava Price, blew the audience a kiss before disappearing backstage.

During the next round, Wale invited each girl to take the seat next to him for the interview questions. To Evelyn Chisholm, 5, he asked, “What is your favorite movie and why?”

“My favorite movie is, I forget the name of it,” she said. “Pocahontas because there’s Indians.”

“Good,” Hale said. “What do you want to be when you grow up, and why?”

“I want to be, like a veterinarian to help animals,” Evelyn said.

To Alexis Shadrach, he asked, “What is your favorite food, and why?”

“French fries because they’re good,” she said.

“And what is your least favorite chore to do around the house, and why?” Hale asked.

“My room because it’s always so messy,” Alexis said.

The questions and answers drew laughs from the audience.

After some more entertainment from Kristina’s Dance Escape, Houser and Makayla Buehler, Wale announced the winners. Each girl’s head was turned toward the podium as he named Krista Opperman as third runner-up, Ava Price as second runner-up and Keira Steininger as first runner-up.

Their faces were both excited and anxious as he finally read off Aerial Fast as the 2013 SummerFest Little Miss Queen.

Fast, who entered the contest last year, said her favorite moment was hearing Hale say her name.

“Last year I didn’t win and I wanted to win,” she said.

Fast said she thought improving the opening dance is what pulled it off. She said she was happy with the results.