Pageant experience exciting for new queen

Duane Hicks

Amid tears of joy, Megan Veniot was crowned as the 2010 Emo Fair queen following the talent show last Thursday evening at the Emo arena.
“I’ve never been this excited in my entire life. I am still shaking,” Veniot remarked shortly after her crowning moment.
“It was so much fun . . . I didn’t expect to win,” she added, though noting she tried her hardest and it paid off.
For the talent show, Veniot performed a dance, choreographed by Chantel Spuzak of Dancemakers, to Beyoncé’s “Halo.” She called working on the routine one of her favourite moments of the pageant experience.
“She is the best person I’ve ever met in my life, and she’s amazing at choreography,” Veniot said of Spuzak.
“She’s the reason I am a dancer; the reason I can portray my feelings in dance is because of her.
“She’s amazing.”
Another highlight for Veniot was making her parade float with her mother, Kelli, which she said “was the funnest thing ever.”
“We screwed up about 20 billion times but we kept having at it. It was so much fun,” she enthused.
“This whole week has been awesome.”
Veniot said she highly recommends other young women enter the Emo Fair queen pageant in the future.
“I heard about fair queen and didn’t think I could do it,” she admitted. “But I want to let every single girl out there know that they can do it and it’s really worth it.
“It’s so much fun to do,” she stressed. “Everybody says that, but it really is. It’s a lot of fun.”
Veniot said that if there’s one thing she learned, “it’s that you always have to stay positive.”
“You can’t get yourself down . . . you always have to be upbeat, happy and go for it,” she explained.
“Hit it hard.”
Veniot added she wanted to thank her three fellow queen contestants, as well as her friends, family, and sponsor (Tim Hortons) for their support.
Elysia Huitikka, sponsored by Dairy Queen, was named First Princess. She also won the Dorothy Bonot Memorial Award for leadership, promptness, and a willingness to help others.
“I loved it. It was such a good experience,” Huitikka said in between congratulations from family and friends last Thursday.
“It was really good to get out into the community and get to know it better,” she added. “I would tell any young teenage girl to get into it.
“It is so much fun,” Huitikka enthused. “You raise your boundaries by doing the talent show.
“Everything was such a great experience.”
Huitikka said the talent show, during which she performed a live action version of the popular YouTube video, “The Evolution of Dance,” probably was the highlight of the pageant experience for her.
“It was so exciting, the adrenaline was pumping, and getting the crowd to cheer for you was the best,” she remarked.
“It was really awesome.”
Being a fair queen contestant also is a way to meet new people, noted Huitikka.
“You get new friends, meet people you didn’t know before,” she explained. “Like, I didn’t know Hillary Brown from Stratton.
“And there’s so many people at high school you don’t know, and it’s nice to see all the different people, see a different side of life.
“It’s awesome.”
Hillary Brown (Circle S Ranch) was honoured as Second Princess and also chosen by her fellow contestants as “Miss Congeniality.”
She played Coldplay’s “The Scientist” on piano, accompanied by Drew Donald on guitar and vocals, for the talent show.
Alyssa Mutz (Dev-Lynne’s), who sang an original song (“Will You Dance with Me?”) as her talent, was the fourth contestant in this year’s Emo Fair queen pageant.
The event judges were Krista Kellar, Tammy LeBlanc, Diane Nordstrom, and Sadie Smith.
The four contestants were scored in several categories, including their banners, interviews, fashion, floats, and entertainment.
They had participated in a series of events prior to last Thursday’s talent show, including a meet-and-greet for sponsors, a meet-the-candidates dinner and fashion show, and judging of the floats, and all of them sold 300 buttons.
They then took part in the fair parade on Saturday.
They received a host of prizes, either bought by the fair board or donated by district businesses.
Pageant organizer Sis McCormick said this year’s competition was another success—and something she enjoyed being involved with.
“Every year I find the girls give it their all,” she remarked. “It makes me happy when I know that the girls are finding out their different talents.
“It’s so much fun to watch them grow.
“When they start out doing this, they’re so shy, and by the end, [they’re not],” McCormick noted. “I really enjoy seeing that, seeing them change.
“These girls have been really, really great in the sense that they’ve always been there when I needed them,” she added.
“And they’ve been good to each other, trying to help each other out.”
McCormick, the 2003 Emo Fair queen, recommended young women seriously consider running for the crown next year.
“It helps you grow as a person, and you realize things you didn’t really know about yourself before, like being a public speaker,” she explained, adding years ago, she never would have thought of herself as a speaker but now she “could stand up there all day and talk.”
“The same with the girls. They’re cool with that, too,” said McCormick. “Once they start doing it, they’re just great.”
The evening also included extra entertainment from 2009 Emo Fair queen Taylor Pelepetz, 2009 First Princess Marissa Kinnear, 2009 Second Princess Tasha-Lynn McNally, Maverick Judson (who also was sound man), and Isaac Firth.
Miss Teen Northwestern Ontario Felicia Schmutz spoke about self-esteem and sang a song she wrote, “Love From Above.”
The evening also featured a humorous skit about “pageantry boot camp” by Dale Allan and Julianna Clink.
In related news, the 2010 Emo Fair mini-king and queen contest was held prior to the event for the queen contestants.
Duncan King was crowned mini-king while Hailey Bragg was chosen as mini-queen.
The other mini-king contestant was Liam McEvoy while the other mini-queen contestants included Mya Hamilton, Mackenzie Hammond, and Adrianna McCoy.
Pelepetz interviewed the mini-king and queen contestants.