27 girls, young women vie for Miss Victoria crowns

  • If you go

  • • WHAT: 45th annual Miss Victoria Pageant

    • WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday

    • WHERE: Victoria Fine Arts Center, 1002 Sam Houston Drive, Victoria

    • COST: $10 admission

    • TICKETS: Can be purchased at the door or at Dance Showcase, 2505 N. Ben Jordan St., Victoria

  • CANDIDATES

  • LITTLE MISS VICTORIA

  • Ashlyn Baker

  • Ashlyn Baker, 6, Schorlemmer Elementary, daughter of Dixie Baker and Wesley Baker

  • Avery Bardas

  • Avery Bardas, 4, daughter of Michelle Bardas and Jason Bardas

  • Mattie Buckert

  • Mattie Buckert, 6, Schorlemmer Elementary, daughter of Tasha Bennett and Matthew Buckert

  • Elizabeth Flores

  • Elizabeth Flores, 6, Dudley Elementary, daughter of Natalie Flores and Richard Flores

  • Reagan Horn

  • Reagan Horn, 4, First Baptist Day School, daughter of Jessica Weller and Richard Horn

  • Jolie Lambert

  • Jolie Lambert, 7, Vickers Elementary, daughter of Julie and Marc Gray and Joey Lambert

  • Kamdyn Morales

  • Kamdyn Morales, 6, Northside Baptist School, daughter of DeAnn Morales and Kevin Morales

  • Tori Patek

  • Tori Patek, 6, Vickers Elementary, daughter of Melissa Patek and Patrick Patek

  • Averie Porras

  • Averie Porras, 6, DeLeon Elementary, daughter of Stefanie Porras and Isaac Porras

  • Madalyn Rowlands

  • Madalyn Rowlands, 6, Mission Valley Elementary, daughter of Kingslee Mitchell and Daniel and Sarah Rowlands

  • YOUNG MISS VICTORIA

  • Taylor Bearden

  • Taylor Bearden, 10, DeLeon Elementary, daughter of Jaclyn Bearden and Lee Bearden

  • Mia Garza

  • Mia Garza, 9, Faith Family, daughter of Stephanie Villareal and Emmanuel Villareal

  • Destiny Hodge

  • Destiny Hodge, 11, Patti Welder Middle School, daughter of Shannon Cantwell and Bobby Hodge

  • Macie Kolodziejczyk

  • Macie Kolodziejczyk, 8, Industrial Elementary, daughter of Shanda Kolodziejczyk and Jeffery Kolodziejczyk

  • Chloe Morales

  • Chloe Morales, 9, Vickers Elementary, daughter of Stephanie Morales and George Morales

  • Jillian Robles

  • Jillian Robles, 10, Nazareth Academy, daughter of Cheryl Robles and Adolph Robles

  • JUNIOR MISS VICTORIA

  • Jillian Brooks

  • Jillian Brooks, 13, Howell Middle School, daughter of Christina Brooks and David Brooks

  • Elizabeth Caldwell

  • Elizabeth Caldwell, 15, Victoria West High School, daughter of Maureen Caldwell and Vic Caldwell

  • Mallory Hewitt

  • Mallory Hewitt, 13, Howell Middle School, daughter of Mandie Hewitt and Michael Hewitt

  • Kelsey Kallman

  • Kelsey Kallman, 15, Victoria West High School, daughter of Julie Kallman and Jeff Kallman

  • Melody Kloss

  • Melody Kloss, 12, Patti Welder Middle School, daughter of Talitha Kloss and Evan Kloss

  • Kylee Tipton

  • Kylee Tipton, 13, Howell Middle School, daughter of Belinda Romanowski and Tommy Romanowski, and Robert Pereira Jr.

  • MISS VICTORIA

  • MacKenzie Borden

  • MacKenzie Borden, 15, Victoria East High School, 11th grade, daughter of Harley Borden

  • Kylie Hughes

  • Kylie Hughes, 15, Liberty Academy, 10th grade, daughter of Angela Nesloney-Stehling

  • Brandy Kabela

  • Brandy Kabela, 20, Victoria College, sophomore, daughter of Dawn Kabela and Craig Kabela

  • Brittany Newyear

  • Brittany Newyear, 18, University of Texas at San Antonio, freshman, daughter of Kay Nelms Newyear and William Karl Newyear

  • Taylor Bennett

  • Taylor Bennett, 17, Victoria College, sophomore, daughter of Tina Bennett

Just a few years ago, Taylor Beardon's friends would be surprised to learn she would compete in a Miss Victoria pageant.

Saying she's been described as shy, the 10-year-old Victoria girl "wanted to overcome my fear of being in front of everybody." She has two pageants under her belt now, earning a Little Miss Victoria crown in 2011, and she plans to compete again Saturday, vying for the Young Miss Victoria crown.

"I wanted to show that I could have the confidence in myself and do what other people can't," said Taylor.

Taylor joins 26 girls and young women this weekend at the Victoria Fine Arts Center for the 45th annual Miss Victoria Pageant, vying for one of four titles: Little Miss Victoria (ages 4 to 7), Young Miss Victoria (ages 8 to 11), Junior Miss Victoria (ages 12 to 15) and Miss Victoria (ages 16 to 20). The girls and young women are competing for more than $800 in cash and prizes in each category.

Contestants will participate in an opening dance routine and compete in four competitions in which they each will have a personal interview, deliver a prepared speech based on a prompt, participate in a formal wear segment and answer a final question if they become a finalist.

The Victoria competition teaches girls and young women life skills, pageant coordinator Bennett Cain said, highlighting how the contest helps with gaining confidence and acquiring networking and interviewing skills. Some contestants' parents have expressed apprehension about their children competing, Cain said.

"'They're so shy. We don't know if they'll do good,'" Cain recalled them saying, "and we tell them to just try, and they blossom."

The Victoria pageant is unlike other pageants because it focuses on the community and promotes service in it, she said.

"Ours is truly for the town of Victoria," Cain said. "We want someone who truly represents the town of Victoria. We're not in it for the crown and the glitz."