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ENMU to host Miss New Mexico pageant

The 2016 Miss New Mexico pageant will be hosted at Eastern New Mexico University this week.

Girls from 13 to 17 years old participate in the Miss Teen contest, while participants 17 to 24 participate in the Miss New Mexico contest.

“The Miss New Mexico Scholarship Organization allows young women throughout the Land of Enchantment to earn scholarship money for college, cultivate their individual talents and speaking skills, develop self-confidence and poise, as well as the opportunity to serve their local communities,” said Greg Smith, executive director of the Miss New Mexico Scholarship Organization.

Fifty-six girls from across the state will be participating in this year’s pageant, according to Marissa Livingston, who was crowned the 2015 Miss New Mexico at last year’s pageant, along with Miss New Mexico’s 2015 Outstanding Teen Sasha Butcher.

One of the participants is Alexa Vigil, 20, who won the title of Miss Portales at the Miss Portales pageant last November. She was also crowned Miss Eastern New Mexico in 2014.

Local residents Madison Belcher of Texico (Miss Portales Outstanding Teen), Kara Young (Miss Eastern New Mexico Outstanding Teen) and Haley Baca (Miss Roosevelt County Outstanding Teen), both of Portales, also won teen titles in the Miss Portales contest.

“These girls have been really working hard these past couple of months, even years,” said Livingston, discussing the effort that the participants put forth in the pageant.

“It’s not about their performance,” said Livingston. “I know what the job entails, and it really is a full-time job.”

“The competition is very tough, and we would like for everyone to come out and see the show,” said Smith.

Participants will be arriving today and Monday for the event with the “Crown the Town” event taking place in the Portales town square at 3 p.m. Monday with pageant participants visiting Portales businesses and local residents to kick-off the event.

Livingston said she always looks forward to the event in Portales.

“It’s a fantastic event that will bring fanfare to the city,” said Livingston, adding that she also looks forward to mentoring this year’s Miss New Mexico winner.

“The girls who win are in for the most amazing, fun adventure,” said Livingston. “I am very honored and proud to have served as Miss New Mexico in 2015 and very excited to watch the girls this year.”

The participant crowned Miss New Mexico will be participating in the Miss America competition in September.

“It was an honor representing New Mexico on the national stage at Miss America,” said Livingston of her experience last year.

A meet and greet event will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at the Campus Union Building at ENMU, and Miss New Mexico pageant contestants will also be part of the Heritage Days parade at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Pageant participants will be competing Thursday through Saturday with the Miss New Mexico Teen competition at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the University Theatre Center, and the Miss New Mexico competition at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the theater.

The Miss New Mexico Teen will be crowned at 2 p.m. Saturday while the 2016 Miss New Mexico will be crowned at 6 p.m. the same day.

Tickets for the events can be purchased for $30 Thursday and Friday at the door at the ENMU theater for entrance to both the teen and Miss New Mexico events.

The public can also attend the Miss New Mexico Ball at 9 p.m. Saturday at the ENMU Campus Union Building. Tickets for the competition finals Saturday are $40 for the teen competition and $50 for Miss New Mexico with prices including admission into the celebration ball.


©2016 The Portales News-Tribune (Clovis, N.M.)

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