Saturday night was a dream come true for several girls in Dearing. The fourth annual Dearing Mayfest Pageant was held at the Dearing Elementary School with the theme of "Follow Your Dreams."
Ashley Frankenfield was crowned Miss Dearing Mayfest.
"As Miss Mayfest, I would love to encourage everyone to search for that special something that they love to do. Sometimes that means trying many different things until you find your passion. Once you find your passion, work at it. Become the best you can be and then share your experience with others," Ashley said in her essay on the theme.
This year's pageant had a new opening routine, with all 11 contestants dancing on stage together. The opening dance was choreographed by last year's Miss Dearing Mayfest, Meghan Sutton.
Ashley said she already is pursuing her dream to become a professional figure skater. She takes lessons every morning before school at the ice skating rink in Augusta, and has performed in shows and competitions. As a sophomore at Thomson High School, Ashley is a member of the THS girls' soccer team, the Bulldog band dance line and the French club.
"She works very hard. I'm very proud of her, she's a good kid," her mother, Joyce Frankenfield, said.
First runner-up for Miss Dearing Mayfest was Candace Welch and second runner-up was Casey Glackin.
Morgan Mims was crowned the Junior Miss Dearing Mayfest in the 10-13 age category, with Chelsea Stewart winning first runner-up and Ginny Beasley winning second runner-up.
"Wow, I'm still waiting to wake up. I'm in shock. I have to be dreaming," Morgan said after the pageant.
Morgan's younger sister, Robin, was crowned Little Miss Dearing Mayfest for ages 7-9. Kaleigh Beasley was first runner-up and Kaylee Sweeney was second runner up in that category.
In the Wee Little Miss Dearing Mayfest category, ages 4-6, Julie Marie Ovalle was crowned the winner and Amber Elizabeth Hawkins was first runner-up.
In each category, the girls were introduced in sportswear, performed in the talent competition, followed by the formal wear presentations.
Between the competitions, the winners of last year's pageant provided entertainment.
Judges were Teka Allen, the assistant director of Columbia County Community Directors after school program, Ava Rodgers, a THS alumnus and a graduate of Berry College, Florida State and the University of Georgia who has judged 4-H events and other pageants, and Nancy Snellings, a postmaster in Bath, S.C. who lives in Grovetown.
"I enjoyed seeing all the talent," Ms. Snellings said.
Auditor of the scores was Vickie Gheesling.
"Mrs. Gheesling is no stranger to us. She has become our resident auditor and we hope she will continue for many years to come," said Liz Humphrey, the mistress of ceremonies.
Lynda Brooks also served as mistress of ceremonies, Gina Cody and Madison Hathaway were judges assistants and David Harbeson was the sound technician.
Approximately 120 people attended the pageant, and participated in a raffle drawing for a car wash and oil change from Harlem Auto Shop, a haircut from Lasting Looks in Dearing, a gift certificate to Wal-Mart and a Craftsman toolbox donated by Sears of Thomson.