In Cumberland, Maryland on a Saturday night at the Allegany College of Maryland Theater, many young women lined the halls prepared to compete in the Miss Allegany County and Miss Cumberland Pageant. With spectators in their seats, the lights in the auditorium dimmed and the bright, white stage lights lit up the stage. Katy Perry’s “Firework” comes blaring through the sound system and each girl glides across the stage and into position for their opening group number. The girls performed a synchronized dance and as it comes to an end, the current Miss Maryland and Miss Cumberland graced the audience and competitors with their presence. The previous winners were the emcees for the event. Giving the competing girls time to prepare for the swimsuit category, Miss Maryland rapped for the crowd to pass time.
“Looks like we’re ready to start the first category for the night: swim wear!”, Miss Maryland exclaims as she receives a cue. Ke$ha and Pitbull’s “Timber” plays through the speakers and the girls come out one by one and show their confidence in swim suits ranging from bikinis to one- pieces. After each girl got a chance to be featured, they all lined up for everyone to get a look at them all together.
Following the swim wear category was formalwear. The majority of the girls wore red, black, or white dresses with the occasional pink, navy blue, and tan. The dresses were all in good taste and not too revealing. Among the spectators in the crowd were some other pageant girls who were not competing that day. Some had been participating in pageants for over four years and others were just starting out. Most people in attendance that day were anticipating that talent category. Some of the many talents included ballet, lyrical dancing, fashion designs, jazz dancing, piano, musical theater, singing, skits, and baton twirling. Throughout the formal and talent categories, the music cut out causing many problems among the girls competing but they all kept their composure and finished strong!Maria Pifer was crowned Miss Cumberland and Jade Kenny was crowned Miss Allegany County. This pageant is part of the preliminaries to the Miss Maryland and Miss America organizations. Good luck to these ladies as they continue their journey to higher competitions.