By Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
Baker College of Owosso hosted the 36th Annual Miss Curwood Festival Queen and Princess Pageant Saturday, March 19, and community members came out in large numbers to attend the event, including many past pageant winners. Pageant judges had the difficult job of choosing a Queen and court member from a group of six talented young ladies, and choosing a Princess and court member from the ten-person field of princess candidates. All of the candidates were judged prior to the pageant, in addition to answering questions in front of the crowd at the Baker College Welcome Center.
Owosso High School senior, Kaycee Ogle, was crowned this year’s Queen, with OHS graduate and current Baker College student, Valerie Clark, being named her court member. Addison Collard and Madelyn Usher, both eight-year-old Central Elementary third-graders, were named Princess and court member, respectively. Additionally, Owosso High School junior, Haley Rothe, was named Miss Congeniality.
Both Ogle and Clark will receive a Northwestern Mutual scholarship to the college of their choice at the conclusion of their reign, and all four winners received gift bags that were donated by a group of local sponsors that include: the Shiawassee Family YMCA, Looks Unlimited, Memorial Healthcare Center, Lance’s Bakery, Courtside Café, Ashleigh’s Dance Shack, Targetline/Fields Manufacturing, Young Chevy Cadillac Buick GMC, Day Starr, Lula’s Louisiana Cookhouse, and J’s Tux & Bridal Boutique.
Ogle and Clark will represent the Curwood Festival at numerous area festivals, as well as events and speaking engagements within the community, and the Princess and her court will attend local parades and events. The Curwood Days Festival will be June 2 through 5 in downtown Owosso.
Candidates were judged on their communication skills, personalities, intelligence, poise, and overall enthusiasm for the Curwood Festival and the community. The Princess candidates were judged by Sara Reisinger, Sara Kurka, and Kari Tomasek; the preliminary Queen judges were Denice Grace, Kelsey Nations, Stacey (Constine) Parmenter, and Susan Treen; and the Queen candidates were judged by Carrie Rathbun-Hawks, Len Wright, and Jacki (Rohac) Bisinov.
The complete list of Queen candidates includes: Ogle, Clark, and Rothe, Laingsburg High School senior, Allissa Lockwood; OHS graduate and Baker College student, Danielle Whitney; and Owosso High School junior, MaryKate Wright. The Princess candidates included: Collard and Usher, along with Danica Dwyer, a third-grader at Central Elementary; Lilianna Earegood, a second-grader at Central Elementary; Lilly Huff, a fourth-grader at Emerson Elementary; Jorja Napier, a fourth-grader at Corunna Middle School; Delaina Peterson, a Bryant Elementary third-grader; Madison Salander, an Emerson Elementary fourth-grader; Paxson Tyrrell, a second-grader at Emerson Elementary; and Amy Wardwell, a nine-year-old home schooled student.