Sixteen young women from across the state took part in the opening round of the Miss Iowa Pageant last night in Davenport. The state’s new queen will be crowned tomorrow night and she’ll represent Iowa in the Miss America Pageant this fall. Miss Iowa pageant spokeswoman Diana Anderson says it’s a long road for some of the contestants. They start at local pageants and then move on to the state pageant.During last night’s and tonight’s rounds of competition, the 16 contestants will be alternating between performing their talents and doing interviews with judges. Anderson draws a distinction between other pageants that are only based on appearance.Miss Iowa will be evaluated and scored in four categories: 40-percent talent performance, 30-percent interview and community platform, and 15-percent each for evening gown and swimsuit. Anderson says the young women who serve as Miss Iowa have to be dedicated to community service.This year’s 52nd annual Miss Iowa Pageant offers more than 15-thousand dollars in scholarships and a variety of prizes. The Miss America Pageant will be held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in October this year, not September, due to the Olympics. Contestants are: Miss Clinton County Abby Costello of Charlotte, Miss Scott County Michelle Creighton of Bettendorf, Miss Burlington Emily Engberg of Burlington, Miss Northwest Iowa Jessica Crouch of Armstrong, Miss Southeast Iowa Katie Erickson of Estherville, Miss Heartland Jennifer Eklof of Clive, Miss Capitol City Ellie Nelson of Ruthven, Miss Mississippi Valley Fair Laura Miller of Bettendorf, Miss Kossuth-Winnebago Kelly Van Oosbree of Emmetsburg, Miss Greater Des Moines Sarah Carr of Norwalk, Miss Louisa County Jessica McGill of Grandview, Miss North Central Iowa Melissa Danforth of Des Moines, Miss Muscatine Ginger Wolfe of Davenport, Miss Johnson County Theresa Uchytil of Urbandale, Miss Golden Circle Christine Shelledy of Norwalk and Miss Great Lakes of Iowa Karissa Wikert of Ringsted.
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