ELYRIA — Last year’s Apple Festival Queen joined the pageant at the urging of her friend, and this year that tradition lived on.
Emily Messer, a junior at Elyria High School, was crowned this year’s Apple Festival Queen. It was the 2011 reigning queen Jeannette Hagerty who pushed Messer’s participation. Moments after a crown of tiny white flowers was placed on her head, Emily was all smiles as she said Hagerty’s advice — the pageant would be loads of fun and a great chance to meet new people — was spot on.
“She was really right,” Messer said. “I had a great time, and I am really excited to represent Elyria. You look around and see all of the past queens that come back and you know this is something that sticks with you forever.”
Hagerty also had a little advice for Messer.
“To be a queen means you really have to think about what you are doing,” she said. “I’m so proud of my crown and sash because I know it means I have the city of Elyria backing me up.”
It was touch and go for a while to determine if a queen would actually be crowned this year. A severe rainstorm quickly moved into the area roughly 30 minutes into the pageant, causing contestants and audience members to scatter for cover.
But the quick thinking of pageant chairwoman Linda Brown saved the day. She just moved the event inside the nearby FirstMerit Bank. ]
There, Messer wowed the judges with her take on the world problem she would like to solve if given the chance.
“I know there has been a lot of news lately about teen suicide and bullying,” she said. “I would talk to teens because you should never have someone who feels so bad they want to take their own life. If everyone took a moment to think before they spoke and only said nice things to people, the world would be a better place.”
Messer is the daughter of Douglas and Susan Messer. After high school, she hopes to major in English at Columbia University. Her activities include junior class secretary, Elyria High dance team and assistant teaching others at the YWCA dance studio.
It is there, Messer said, that the next queen could be hiding.
“I could see so many of the little girls I teach doing this,” she said. “When they get older, I can’t wait to see which one will do it. I think they will have a great experience just like I did.”
The 32nd pageant had every thing that makes a pageant worthwhile.
Cool costumes — Emily Messer’s “Apple Pi” costume with the universally known symbol for the mathematical figure attached to her chest and Leah Weese’s “Apple Blossom Pixie” dress adorned with pink flower blossoms — were the perfect examples of creativity. And, a creative dance number designed around the theme, “Dancing with the Stars.”
The queen’s court this year consisted of first runner-up Alyssa Rae Trimmel, who also won Miss Congeniality, second runner-up Melanie Males and third runner-up Alyssa Maldonado. Messer also took home the best costume award.
Brown said every girl is deserving of wearing the crown, even though the title can only go to one.
“They have put in so many hours to put on this show. They have worked so hard,” Brown said.
The Apple Festival Queen is awarded over $3,000 in cash and prizes donated from local businesses and organizations. Awards also went to the first, second and third runners-up, as well as Most Creative Costume and Miss Congeniality.
Scores were based on creative costume, poise, personality, appearance, conversational aptitude and group talent.
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.