Once again, there was a sold-out crowd Saturday night, as the 2019 River Days’ Pageant was held at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. Each school represented had a nice crowd there, cheering each of their own girls on for the win.
The day for the 12 River Days’ Candidates started out with the parade held in Portsmouth, and these girls really brought out the ‘Super’ as they were dressed and all represented a superhero. Sydney Speas, dressed as Captain Marvel, from Minford, won the best overall float that morning.
Following the parade, that evening, with the excitement building, the River Day’s Pageant ceremonies took off and the girls presented their best in all parts and there were no holds barred as they entertained the crowd throughout the evening. A group of cheerleaders from their represented schools, performed a marvelous dance while the girls changed to the next part of the pageant.
In no time, it was the time each and every girl competing had been waiting for, the final results were in. The announcement for 2nd Runner up for Miss River Days was chosen and it was Rachael Cline, Miss Green. Next up, as 1st Runner up was Alexis Graf, Miss Notre Dame. As the anticipation grew and the crowds became restless, Addison Smith, Miss South Webster was crowned Miss River Days 2019 and the crowd went wild.
“It was like a dream come true, I have dreamed of this since I was very little, and seeing it come to life, there are no words. When I was in the top five, then down to only the queen left, I was thinking that would be so awesome if my name got called,” Smith said. “Webster hasn’t had the queen crown since 2013. And when they said my name, I was like ‘oh my gosh’ I stood there to make sure they called my name and then it set in and I freaked out, it was amazing, it was crazy!
“My family is over the moon, I have two little sisters Maryn, who is 13 and Eden who is ten years old,” she said. “And my parents are, Chad and Tasha Smith.” She said if a young girl would want to be in her position as queen, “I would tell her anybody can be in this position, if you know in your head that’s what you want to do, you can achieve it.” She said for the older girls like juniors that want to participate in the Miss River Days’ pageant, ” It is a lot of work, but it is 100% worth it.”
Smith said the experience of running for Miss River Days was well worth it. “It was so much fun getting to know all the girls and getting to know our community a lot better,” she said. “I look forward to representing my school and being Miss River Days as we go to other festivals. It feels like it’s a dream.”
Smith is now looking to her plans for the future. “I want to go to Asbury University to study communications and broadcasting,” Smith said “I want to thank (South Webster) for their support and I couldn’t have done it without them and we are the Jeeps!”
Graf said her experience in the pageant was exciting. “It was so exciting and at first, I didn’t even know my name got called, because it was so loud and people were screaming. I had to look at my cheer section and saw them so excited and I thought, wait did I just win? It was surreal and it was kind of like a dream come true,” Graf said. “I’m very proud of my school, we are small and we are like one big family and I am among just a few people from my school to win in this pageant and now have an opportunity to continue my journey after this pageant. I am so thankful for all of my Notre Dame cheer section. I want to thank my pageant mom, my family and all who supported me.”
Graf talked about how the entire day started early. “really crazy and it was a blast, I was so excited and it was really awesome.” She also spoke of the many weeks before this night and getting to know all the girls. She says she looks forward to going to other parades because she says she has never really been to any other festivals besides River Days and “it will give me a chance to see what they have to offer.” Graf was also chosen as Miss Congeniality and of that, she said that it was special because it came from all the girls.
Cline, representing Green and now Miss River Days’ was 2nd runner up. “It was really exciting, because we haven’t placed in nine years, being from just a small school, you hear things like being from such a small school, you don’t have a chance, it made me very proud to think I brought the first crown after nine years,” Cline said. “When I got top five, I wanted to get that far, I was on Cloud nine, I wanted to get that far, but I didn’t believe I could get that far, because I have never been in a pageant before. When I got there, it was the best feeling in the world, next to getting my crown.” As they announced she was 2nd runner-up, she said, “I was actually overjoyed, you can tell by the videos and photos I was shocked.”
Cline gave some advice for little girls who want to be a ‘queen.’ “I would tell her to start wearing heels now, cause they will kick your butt!” She added that she looked forward to going to other festivals and how it kind of went with her platform which was about hometown pride and she wanted to share that.
All three girls will be representing the Miss River Days pageant throughout the next year, until it is time for new girls to take over the helm.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928
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