By Jamie Mason, Robin Hendricks, Carina Leaman

With winning smiles and confident strides, 17 gorgeous Dutch Fork ladies strutt across the stage in the Miss Silver Fox pageant.

Dutch Fork’s annual Miss Silver Fox Pageant was held in the high school’s auditorium last Saturday evening, beginning at 7 p.m. and ending around 9 p.m.

The pageant is a great opportunity not only for the contestants, but also for people wanting to see what the school is like outside of academics.

“I’ve never been to [a Miss Silver Fox Pageant] but it seems like it’s going to be fun,” attendee Christen Enoch said.

The pageant opened with a choreographed dance number performed by all the girls, freshmen through seniors, where each got a turn in front of the judges’ eyes.

Soon after, the girls one-by-one reappeared on stage to show off their chosen costume.  Most of these outfits consisted of floppy hats and sundresses to correspond with this year’s Derby theme.

During intermission, audience members roamed about.  Among these were winners from the Junior Miss Silver Fox Pageant held earlier in the afternoon.  These contestants attended the middle school rather than the high school.

Eighth grader Jordan Webb won the honor of Junior Miss Silver Fox earlier that afternoon.

“I didn’t really know what to do,” Jordan said.  “It was my first pageant, so I just kind of went and had fun. I took tips from former pageant people but that’s it.”

The next part of the competition was the evening wear section.  As each girl was on stage, the host would speak about each girl.  She would talk about their accomplishments, their favorite foods, their favorite singers, and, of course, why they love Dutch Fork.

Soon after the evening wear portion, it was time for the judges to count up the scores for each individual girl and decide who was to be given one of the five titles.

“Well, each of the judges has a scoring sheet that they use for each level of the competition, the interview, the theme wear and the evening gown,” judge Leigh-Ann Hansell said, “and they take all of the components into consideration for each contestant from 1-10 and then my job is to record those scores and to make sure of the accuracy of the totals.”

During this time, the host and reigning Miss Silver Fox 2013 senior Mary Catherine Keith were telling cheesy jokes to the audience  (“What did the fish say when he ran into the wall?  DAM!”).

When the final scores were tallied, the contestants all walked onto the stage still in their evening gowns, forming an array of colors in front of the audience.

The new royalty of Dutch Fork are as follows:  Miss Freshman–Breanna Audette,  Miss Sophomore–Prentiss Edmond,  Miss Junior–Kyra Ross-El,  Miss Senior–Elizabeth Slusher, and the most coveted of the titles Miss Silver Fox goes to junior Maddie Campanella.

With country music like Hunter Hayes and Parmalee playing softly in the background throughout the competition, this year’s was truly a southern pageant.

“It was such an enjoyable pageant, and I definitely would do it again in a heartbeat,” Maddie said.  “I made so many new friends, and I can’t wait to take my journey as Miss Silver Fox.”