Calera Intermediate holds ninth annual beauty pageant

Published 1:57 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

CALERA— It was dresses and glamor for Calera Intermediate School as the ninth annual beauty pageant was held on Saturday, Feb. 4.

The theme of the evening was “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and students in attendance danced to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

Miss Hoover, Mary Coker Green, served as emcee of the event. Norah Long was crowned the fifth grader winner of the pageant and said she enjoyed being in the pageant.

“It was really fun,” Long said. “Making friends and getting to be dressed up was fun.”

Long said her favorite part of the pageant was dancing and that the girls practiced their dance for two weeks before the performance. Long has participated in many pageants before this, but the win was a surprise.

“I didn’t really think that I would win,” Long said. Long was dressed in blue and all smiles as she received her winner’s trophy and flowers. Long was given a question on stage which was: “What’s your favorite subject in school and why?”

“Math (is my favorite) because I love solving problems,” Long said. “Solving problems sometimes makes me feel relaxed while I am thinking.”

Long said math is her favorite subject in school and that she hopes to continue to do pageants in the future,

Holly Laney, assistant principal, said events like the pageant help to build self-esteem among the children.

“It brings them together and helps them find other students that have similar interest as them,” Laney said. “I think it also brings us together as a community. We couldn’t do it without the community support.”

Laney said that the students look forward to this event every year, and that this event couldn’t be done without the parents.

“They have to stay late every afternoon,” Laney said. “Without the parental support, it wouldn’t be possible. They are just ecstatic as the girls are when they’re in the audience (and) jumping up and screaming. They live through them. It is fantastic to watch.”

Laney said she was very happy with the turnout and that the auditorium of Calera High School was completely filled with more than 600 people in attendance. The pageant has been previously held at Calera Intermediate and this was the first year the pageant has been held at Calera High School.

“It has gotten a little bit bigger every year,” Laney said. “I think that the teachers have really invested time and energy into it. They have it down to a science, so the work that goes into it is unbelievable.”

Sunny Harris helped coordinate the pageant and said there were approximately 20 girls competing in each age group with 60 girls in total.

Harris has been involved in the pageant since it began nine years ago, as a volunteer, but this was her first year as a coordinator.

“We have grown,” Harris said. “This is a labor of love. You’re so thankful for your support system. My tribe came together, and everyone just works together.”

Harris said months of preparation go into creating the pageant, and discussed the importance of talking to the girls ahead of time about what to expect during the pageant.

“We’re drilling into the girls all the things that they are learning,” Harris said. “You’re learning how to walk in front of people, speak in front of people, hold yourself in front of people and spending time with your friends. At the end of the day there’s only one winner, but we’ve all won, learned and grown.”