Well folks, it's Miss Arkansas week!
The Miss Arkansas Pageant is held every year in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It is a week long event, filled with appearances, signing parties, and of course competition. The Arrival Ceremony, which happens on Sunday, kicks off the week and officially introduces every contestant to the audience. It's the first time we get to see the ladies vying for the title of Miss Arkansas and is judged separately from the actual pageant.
I remember when I had the honor of competing for Miss Arkansas. I was 19 years old, one of the youngest in competition that year, and I had no idea what the week had in store for me.
Upon arriving to the Austin Hotel in Hot Springs (where the contestants stay every year), we checked into our rooms, said good bye to our family/friends, and we were off to begin our week. Each contestant is paired with another as roommates. We were kept to the 13 & 14 floor of the Austin Hotel, you even needed a code (that only contestants and chaperones knew) to get to our floors. I had an awesome roommate, who I had actually met and competed against before in my second ever pageant. We had become instant friends then and I was so excited to have her as a roommate for the entire week.
Haley Patterson, Miss Petit Jean Valley 08 and my roommate for the week.
Together we got ready for Arrival, and tried to unpack our room at the same time. We had to get comfortable since we would be there a week. Hair and make up room was down on the 2nd floor, and body wraps/spray tans were on the 4th floor. We were only allowed to go to certain areas and could not visit with anyone outside of the pageant unless given permission. It was serious lock down, but it helped to keep our focus for the entire week.
Haley and I Arrival ready.
When it was time to go, we were taken one by one by our competition numbers to the Arlington Hotel to walk to red carpet and receive a rose from the outgoing Miss Arkansas. It was very classy, a car brought us to a red carpet and we were escorted down to where Miss Arkansas, Katie Bailey stood to receive our rose with our princess, or prince.
Being announced as Miss Northwest Arkansas and receiving my rose from Katie Bailey, Miss Arkansas 2007.
With my precious Diamond State Princess, Samantha
After all of the contestants had their turn, we gathered together for the annual Arrival group photo on the steps on the Arlington Hotel.
It was the kick off to a week I will never forget. I only had the honor to grace that stage once in my life, but it will always be one of my most treasured and cherished memories.
Stay tuned for more on Miss Arkansas week!
Have you ever competed in a pageant before? What is one memory you will cherish forever?