Little Miss Blanding showcases talent as eleven local girls shine at inaugural event
by David Boyle
Blanding residents saw their Inaugural Little Miss Blanding royalty crowned on June 17 at the San Juan High Auditorium.
Following months of work, 11 contestants, aged 10-12 years old, took the stage for an evening of pageantry.
Event organizer Lacey Ivins says the evening was meant to showcase the girls in the community with a unique and entertaining production.
At the conclusion of an entertaining evening, Kennedy Bingham was crowned the Inaugural Little Miss Blanding with Chezney Ivins 1st attendant, Emri Black 2nd attendant, and Navy Nieves 3rd attendant.
Ivins says she was approached by Mayor Logan Monson with the idea for the evening.
“The whole idea of this entire pageant was to showcase how awesome, talented, and brave our girls are and to highlight their abilities and their uniqueness.”
Ivins added that she’s seen how pageants can impact young girls and install confidence.
“I was beaming because they rose to the occasion, they absolutely rose. A couple of girls on Friday night were so nervous (at rehersals) and unsure if they’d perform and then Saturday night they came out and rocked it!
“It was so so cool to be able to see the girls rise to the occasion and to have some self-confidence.”
The evening featured an opening number with girls showcasing the things they loved. The girls introduced themselves mixing and matching favorite things like aprons with volleyball shorts and softball mitts with books.
The pageant also featured talents, including dance solos, singing, and gymnastics routines.
Girls also walked in formal wear and answered a series of questions on the stage.
Master of ceremonies for the pageant was Camille Ward, with community performances provided during the evening including a guitar solo by Tommy Lyman, singing by Madelyn Pugh and a gymnastics routine by Whiteley Einerson.
Ivins added the girls worked incredibly hard leading up to the pageant with several workshops a month since March to prepare for the pageant.
Judges Stephen Hiatt, Tamra Lewis, JoAnna Bethea had their work cut out for them as the final tally had several contestants within a very close range of each other.
In addition to volunteer judges, the pageant was made possible through the efforts of a committee of volunteers including Mayor Monson, Brittney Ivins, Camie Nielson, Ryann McPherson, Nicole Holliday, Kim Baker, Kathryn Ivins, Rachel Johnson, Heather Lyman, Aspyn Ivins and Tyler and Lacey Ivins.
The evening also featured support from nearly 20 sponsors.
Members of the Little Miss Blanding royalty will be featured in the upcoming Independence Day parade, and introduced at Centennial Park ahead of the fireworks on the 4th of July.
The group will also appear before the Blanding City Council at a future date.
Little Miss Blanding was awarded a $150 cash prize with each of the attendants receiving $75 in prize money as well.
Little Miss Blanding Kennedy Bingham is the daughter of Desteny and Blake Bingham. First attendant Chezney Ivins is the daughter of Lacey and Tyler Ivins. Second attendant Emri Black is the daughter of Marci and Taylor Black. Third attendant Navy Nieves is the daughter of Mandy and Ronnie Nieves.
Contestants included Journee Wygant, Phaye Jones, Allison Turk, Navy Nieves, Lennon Palmer, Madison Butler, Emri Black, Kennedy Bingham, Armanii Andersen, Chezney Ivins, and Ava Clarke.
Event sponsors include Stonebriar Financial, Canyonlands Tire, O Knight Construction, Granary Bar & Grill, Home Nursing for Utah - Home Watch Caregivers, Countywide Realty, Misty’s Daycare, Grayson Financial Services, Innovation Medical, Recapture Investment Group, Silvia Stubbs, Palmer Sprinkling, Broken I Ranch, Red Mesa Home Health, San Juan Pharmacy, Le Petite Flower Shop and Brooke Pehrson Photography.