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Strawberry Festival selects queen, princesses

Scholarship Pageant Queen Danielle Wilcoxson -
Scholarship Pageant Queen Danielle Wilcoxson
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MARYSVILLE Maybe it was her singing of a somewhat unusual Broadway-style show tune.
Maybe it was the quick, clear response she gave to the random question asked by Strawberry Festival President Judy Anderson. The answer could be her fact-filled speech on teenage eating disorders.
Only the judges know for sure. But whatever the reason, at the end of the April Friesner Royalty Scholarship Pageant held over the weekend, Danielle Wilcoxson, 17, became the reigning queen of the pageant for the coming year.
Wilcoxson will act as an official ambassador for Marysville at various events in and out of town. She will be backed up by Princesses Lila Hart, 16, and Che Renouard, 17, who also were crowned at the annual pageant, this year held March 29 in the auditorium of Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
Im really excited, Danielle said after accepting her crown from last years winner, Cassie Miller. My sister did this three years ago, Danielle continued, and she had the time of her life. I hope I will too.
Besides representing the city as a traveling ambassador, Danielle took home a $3,000 college scholarship. As the runners up, Lila and Che each received $2,000 scholarships. In addition to winning the overall crown, Danielle was named Miss Congeniality and was awarded an additional $250.
As an unusual spring snow fell outside the auditorium, the five contestants in this years pageant began the evening with a dance number.
In addition to the queen and princesses, contestants included Michael Running, 18, and Michelle Giesler, 18. Except for Che, all are students at Marysville-Pilchuck. Che attends Lakewood High School.
For their individual speeches, contestants chose their own topics and those topics ran the gamut from volunteering to preparing for the future.
During her talk on eating disorders, Danielle blamed unrealistic expectations imposed by the media for many problems such as anorexia. She noted very few people live up to the physical appearance standards set by Hollywood.
Princess winner Che spoke on the importance of education, while Lila talked about volunteering.
Besides their speeches, contestants also had to present a talent. All four girls sang; complete with a single white glove, Running did a Michael Jackson dance number. Three of the girls sang to prerecorded music, but Danielle made her presentation a bit different, accompanied on piano and setting a few props on stage. Her song, Taylor the Latte Boy, was about a love affair that started at Starbucks.
Other songs presented included Puppy Love from Lila and Big, Blonde and Beautiful from Che. Giesler sang All American Girl.
Random questions were the last hurdle presented to the contestants. Asked what she would take with her to a deserted island, Danielle didnt hesitate in answering music.
Music is part of my life, she said. If Im stressed out it just puts me in a good mood.
Che talked about bringing more spirit to her school. Lila said the most important person in her life was her mom, Esperanza.
I know I can always count on her, Lila said.
In answering her question, Giesler talked about changing the world by spreading acceptance. Running said the people he most would like to meet would be his grandparents.
As winners and participants in the Royalty Pageant, all five contestants will travel with the official Marysville float to events around the area. Their first big day is April 12, when they will take part in four events in four cities. All in all, they will participate in at least 12 events, according to pageant organizer Bobbi Young.
Speaking before the pageant and her eventual win, new Queen Danielle said meeting people from different places was a key reason she decided to take part in the pageant.
Im here to meet people and be a positive representative of Marysville, she said.

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