Although the 2017 holidays celebrations have concluded, an upcoming local beauty pageant gives Del Rio girls plenty to feel excited about.

Miss Val Verde pageant organizers will unveil this year’s theme and welcome potential queens during a ribbon cutting ceremony and a pageant orientation at 3 p.m. on Jan. 7 at the Ramada Inn Sun Blossom room, said pageant director Claudia Lopez.

“The Miss Val Verde system focuses on growth in every aspect of the way,” said Lopez. “We are like no other because we are not a competition. We are a journey.”

The 2018 pageant will take place on April 7 at the Paul Poag Theater.The areas of competition include a panel style interview, fitness wear, meet the press, evening gown and community service, Lopez said.

New to this year’s competition is the pageant’s recent certification from The President’s Volunteer Service Award, Lopez said. Miss Val Verde winners are required to develop their own platforms and make appearances at community events throughout the year they serve, she said.

“Our goal is to have each and every ambassador make a difference,” Lopez said. “To further our goal of promoting volunteerism and service in our communities.”

Girls between ninthand 12th grade are eligible to compete in Miss Val Verde and girls between sixth and eighth grade are eligible for the Miss Teen Val Verde division. Younger pageant hopefuls can attend a separate orientation fit for their age division at 4:30 p.m. in the same location. Mini-Me divisions are available for third through fifth grade, preschool to second grade and preschool and under.

Last year’s winners include Miss Val Verde Dorian Guadarrama, Miss Val Verde Teen Emmalee Diaz, Miss Queen City Zoey Ortiz Gonzalez, Junior Miss Val Verde Reagan O’Rourke and Lil’ Miss Val Verde Brielle Castaneda.

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