Kylie Fitch, 17, hopes to inspire young girls and better her community.

Fitch and nine others are vying to be crowned the next queen at the annual Victoria County Livestock Show Queen Victoria Pageant.

“As a little girl, going to the livestock show every year and seeing all these older girls wearing their crowns and their sashes and being a real big inspiration, I thought, ‘Wow that would be really cool to do,’” Kylie said. “I’d like to inspire other people and help out in the community.”

The pageant starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday with doors opening at 5 p.m at the Victoria Community Center dome. Tickets can be purchased for $6 from one of the 35 contestants or at the door.

The pageant has been part of the county livestock show for decades, pageant director Sarah Rowlands said.

“It’s more than just a pretty face,” Rowlands said. “Being a queen is also about who you are. It’s about integrity and compassion and how you treat others and serving the community.”

Contestants range from 4 to 18 years old and are judged primarily on their personality. A panel of three judges will review the contestants in several categories of competition including western wear, formal wear and an interview.

During the interview, contestants will answer a series of questions that don’t have a right or wrong answer, Rowlands said. They are looking at how contestants carry themselves, how they speak and their ability to answer questions on the spot.

A winner will be named in each of the age groups: little mister cowboy, little miss cowgirl, young queen, junior queen and queen.

“The winner, as well as the entire court, get to serve the community during a full year during their reign,” Rowlands said.

The court will serve the community all year and will be the face of the county livestock show, she said. Previous courts have served during benefits, rodeos and parades to name a few events.

“It goes way beyond just winning a crown and being a pretty face,” Rowlands said.

Last year was Kylie’s first year competing in the pageant, but she has shown a lamb in the livestock show since she was in third grade.

“I’m not a whole lot more special (than the other contestants), but I do do more not-so-girly things,” Kylie said.

Aside from the livestock show, Kylie enjoys hunting, fishing and racing cars.

“It’s a thrill, a big rush,” she said. “At first it was pretty scary, but now getting up to the ramp of a track, it’s more of an adrenaline thing. It’s really fun to hang out with all the guys and do something that’s different.”

Kylie doesn’t think her hobbies will make a fierce competitor at the pageant, but she thinks it gives her an advantage in life.

“It does teach you some really good life skills, handy work, stuff around your house,” she said.

After graduating from Edna High School, Kylie hopes to attend Texas A&M University and major in something to do with animals.

Her mother, Kelly Fitch, said the pageant was great for Kylie, and they are looking forward to participating again this year.

“It’s great for the kids and for her,” Fitch explained. “She had the best time. She loved it and made lots of new friends.”

The Fitch family hopes Kylie will take home the crown this year, so she can continue to represent the stock show for the following year.

“(Kylie) is a very genuine young lady and very sweet, has a heart of gold and would do anything for anybody,” Fitch said.

Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism.

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