The Miss Shelby County Pageant and Shelby County Junior Miss Pageant, a presentation of poise, will be center stage at the Shelby Christian Church in Shelbyville on Friday, June 28.
This year the pageants will take place in the same time slot (6 p.m.), along with a presentation of "Little Misses" being introduced and having their own processional. With parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents in attendance to support all those young ladies, the church could be packed.
"You better get here early for a good seat," said Jennifer Endsley, pageant assistant.
The evening will be a presentation of poise and confidence. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but poise is obvious to all.
"When you are more confident, it shows through. The judges look for that," said Chloe Haarman, the reigning Shelby County Junior Miss.
Haarman won the Shelby County Junior Miss Pageant last year, just two weeks after her reign as Jr. Miss Neoga had ended. Prior to those pageants she had never been in one.
"The most important thing I have received from being in the pageants is self-confidence and great friendships." Haarman said. "I think the night of the pageant, speaking in front of everybody is what helped me to win. I spoke clearly and didn't stutter. I was confident and I knew my information sheet. Poise, speaking, and of course, the interviews are the biggest part. You don't know what they are going to ask, so you have to know everything."
Olivia Telgmann, the reigning Miss Shelby County, agreed with her younger partner in royalty.
"The biggest thing that my experience has given me is public speaking skills and making connections with people. It opens doors," said Telgmann. "I am going to nursing school and it helps me with patients to be more confident and to connect with my patients."
Sara Long, a former Miss Shelby County and current pageant director, agreed with Telgmann about the confidence and connections the pageants bring about.
Long says she would've never been hired to work for former U.S. congressman Glenn Poshard had it not been for her own experience in the Shelby County pageant contest.
"He said, 'You were so confident,'" Long recalled of her job interview. "'That's why I hired you.' This helps tremendously with confidence and public speaking abilities. It's very difficult to win the title without communicating effectively."
Telgmann talked about the passion she has had for the Shelby County Fair and for Shelby County.
"I've always had a passion for the county fair," Telgmann said. "Representing Shelby County means a lot to me, because I grew up showing at the fair. It holds a special place in my heart."
Telgmann is a former Jr. Miss Strasburg and Miss Strasburg. After winning the Miss Shelby County Pageant last year, Telgmann went on to compete in the Miss Illinois County Fair Pageant. She had placed among the Top 15 girls in the state.
"My goal was to walk at the Miss Illinois County Fair Pageant," Telgmann said. "My dream was getting the opportunity to do that. To be in the Top 15 out of 71 girls filled my cup."
Telgmann may not compete in pageants going forward, but she may be seen around the county pageants in the future.
"I want to stay involved with the pageant and the county fair and 4-H," Telgmann said. "I'm passionate about it."
The evening will feature "Little Miss" participants ages 4 to 8. They will each be introduced, walk across the stage and have a chance to speak and take part in a group processional. Each of them will receive a crown and a sash, but no winner will be crowned.
The Shelby County Junior Miss Pageant is for girls age 11-14. The contestants for 2019 Junior Miss are Lila Wallace (11) of Tower Hill, Gracie Slifer (11) of Mode, Kylie Smith (11) of Shelbyville, Alissa Shasteen (13) of Shelbyville, and Jonnie Wallace (13) of Tower Hill.
The Miss Shelby County Pageant is for young ladies 16-21. The contestants for 2019 Miss Shelby County are Trinity Shupe (16) of Windsor, Lainee Turner (17) of Strasburg, and Adilyn McCray (16) of Gays.
Shelby Christian Church is located at 200 N. Hickory in Shelbyville. Admission prices are $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 5-12, and children 4 and younger will be admitted for free.