Showcasing county’s best

Twirling and tapping, half a dozen young woman plan to take the stage as part of the 2010 Miss Shelby County pageant.

“I think Shelby County is full of beautiful, talented and intelligent women; the last one of which I think is the key part,” said Pageant Coordinator Hayden Jeffries. “It makes each year really exciting and a difficult choice.”

This year’s contestants include: Allison Brock, Amanda Ford, Amber Key, Megan Picklesimer, Rachel Rivers and Meagan Seale.

Contestants mainly consist of dancers this year, with one baton twirler in the mix.

The young women competing not only have to perform to perfection, they must also remain physically fit, stay on top of current events, put in numerous community service hours and promote their personal platforms.

Miss Shelby County 2009 Ashlee Stiglich said the pageant brings blessings with the hard work it demands.

“It takes a lot of preparation and requires you to be ready for anything, but I think if your heart is in it it’s not hard at all. You just have to be committed,” she said.

Competing for Miss Alabama becomes the next step for the pageant’s winner.

Jeffries said Miss Shelby County gains a small advantage. With the preliminary occurring just one month after the Miss Alabama pageant, the winner gets 11 months to prepare for the next level.

Multiple former Miss Shelby Countys have either placed in the Top 10 or even won Miss Alabama, as did Miss Alabama 2010 Liz Cochran.

This year’s Miss Shelby County will have the honor of crowning the 25th winner next year, in celebration of the program’s silver anniversary.

For more information about the pageant, visit Misschelbycounty.org. Tickets are $10 and the pageant will be held at Shelby County High School.