By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
With crowded fields and enough pageantry benefiting Miss America, the Southwest District Fair Pageant commenced a marathon Tuesday evening with fantastic finishes as one contest ended in a tie, eventually crowning two contestants, and another saw a surprise winner from Nevada County.
Jordan Jones, of Pike County, emerged as the new Miss Southwest District Fair Queen, after sweeping nearly every category, and leaving little doubt that she would succeed outgoing Reagan Grubbs. A familiar local face from Hope, Samantha Bobo, this year competing out of Columbia County, finished as second runner-up, while Jennifer Freeman of Saline County was named first runner-up.
Jones won Miss Congeniality, Most Photogenic, Best Interview, and Best Swimsuit, all prior to Bobo being named as the Best Dressed award and the second-runner up.
In the Junior Miss competition, Victoria Franklin of Nevada County won over the largest contingent ever seen in the division, besting 12 others, including four others, Chloe Brown, Danielle Hamilton, Zoe Fincher, and Zorana Marks, from her own home county.
And, in the Little Miss competition, Nevada County’s Blakely Herring effectively tied the originally named winner Kambree Haarmeyer of Sevier County after a recount, so both girls were named co-winners at the end of the evening.
Others competing in the Little Miss competition were Summer Conant (Clark County), Paycen Dodson (Columbia County), Zoey Beard (Hempstead County), Myla Lewis (Howard County), Harbor Criswell (Montgomery County), and Lillian Staggs (Pike County).
Others in the crowded and competitive Jr. Miss field were Sarah Vidal (Clark County), Peyton Chambers (Columbia County), Brooklyn Reed (Hempstead County), Gracie Gilbert (Hempstead County), Anna Jennings (Lafayette County), Haley Cantrell (Pike County), Jolie Brewer (Pike County), and Aubrey Seymour (Sevier County). Reed, a Spring Hill High softball star, was named Jr. Miss Congeniality, who ended up dancing on stage after her award was misplaced and took several minutes to locate.
Reed was also named Jr. Most Photogenic, while Franklin won Best Interview. Cantrell won for Best Sportswear and Best Dressed.
In the large Jr. Miss field, Seymour was named as third runner-up; Vidal was named second runner-up, and Cantrell was named as first runner-up.
In the Little Miss field, Herring also won as Most Photogenic, while Haarmeyer also won as Best Dressed. Myla Lewis was named as runner-up.
With the large overall field, the pageant ran close to three hours Tuesday night, with an hour dedicated to private interviews earlier in the day at 2 p.m.
Others in the main Miss Southwest District Queen division included Michaelynn Rogers (Clark County), Sarah Smith (Hempstead County), Emily Simmons (Lafayette County), Camryn Pratt (Lafayette County), Madison Hooks (Nevada County), and Ashlynn Hart (Nevada County).
More photos of the pageant may be seen at SWARK Today’s Facebook page at: