Mercer County women compete in state pageant
By Daniel Arens
Several talented women from Mercer County found themselves onstage, showing off both dresses and knowledge as they competed to be recognized by judges for the next Miss North Dakota crowning.
Following the crowning of the county’s own Delanie Wiedrich as Miss North Dakota in 2015, Delanie’s mother Justine worked to organize the first Miss Mercer County pageant, which was successfully held in January of this year. The result was a great opportunity for area girls inspired by Delanie’s example to show off their own beauty and talents.
From June 8 through June 11, contestants from around North Dakota gathered for preliminaries, dinners, performances, and awards, leading up to the crowing of 2016’s title holder. On the evening of June 11, the actual ceremony was held, and Macy Christianson was crowned as 2016’s Miss North Dakota.
For Delanie Wiedrich, the Miss North Dakota Pageant was both bittersweet and rewarding. She gave her farewell speech as well as several performances over the course of the event, but also said she was moved by the presence of so many “Forever Miss North Dakotas”. The group consists of former crown holders, who continue to use their former official titles to be engaged in their communities and state.
“At first, it was really bittersweet,” Delanie said. “It finally hits that one of these girls will take your job. But something really special was having ‘Forever NDs’ there.”
Since there may be many girls who are interested in the possibility of becoming involved at pageants, especially with a local woman claiming the state title, Delanie gave some advice about the rewards of pageant involvement.
“I know it’s scary getting involved, taking that leap of faith into something you know so little about, but go for it,” she said. “Pageants will give you confidence; you will find your talents; it pushes you outside your comfort zone so you can become the best person you can be....No matter what is holding you back, it can give you what you need.”
Mercer County’s own Kyrah Kay Duttenhefer, who won the title of Miss Coal Country’s Outstanding Teen in the Miss Mercer County Pageant, was awarded Spirit of North Dakota/Miss Congeniality, a contest in which other contestants voted for who they believed was the most outgoing of the teen girls.