Seventeen beauties participated in the 2014 Rose Queen Pageant on Saturday at the Thomasville Municipal Auditorium.
Shivani Patel, a Brookwood junior and the daughter of Kirankumar and Savita Patel, emerged with the crown. The first runner-up was Kasey Harrell, a Brookwood School junior and daughter of Charles and Janet Harrell; second runner-up was McKenzie Harrell, a Brookwood School junior and daughter of Doug and Sherry Harrell; third runner-up was Razah Hill, a Thomasville High Scholar’s Academy junior and daughter of Dr. Duriel and Sharika Hill; and fourth runner-up was Julianne Dennis, a junior from Brookwood School and daughter of Miles and Jill Dennis.
Patel will begin her official duties as the Rose Queen during the 93rd Annual Rose Show & Festival on April 24-26, reigning over all official activities. She will also serve as an official hostess for the City of Thomasville, promoting Thomasville and Thomas County as an ambassador for the community.
Before the queen and her court were presented, several other preliminary winners were named. The preliminary fitness winner was a tie between Hill and McKenzie Harrell. The preliminary evening gown winner was a tie between Kasey Harrell and Dennis. The preliminary essay winner was Michelle Whetsell.
Prior to the pageant, each contestant submitted an essay that expressed what she loves about Thomasville. The contestants had the opportunity to meet each of the judges in the individual interview competition earlier in the day. They were asked questions the judges pulled from their essay.
The judges were Katie Bishop, executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody; Tricia Henry Young, member of the Florida State University School of Dance since 1984; Hilary Pulos, 2008 Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen and reigning Miss Savannah River; Dr. Jim Pulos, retired Army major and current middle school principal; and Casanova Nurse, chief meteorologist for WTXL ABC 27.
The audience was welcomed by the Mistress of Ceremonies Marlesa Ball Greiner, Miss Georgia 1986, and Thomasville’s 2013 Rose Queen, Elizabeth Oglesby.
An evening filled with elegance and energy began with a digital remix of “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys. The opening number showcased the contestants wearing their interview outfit as each of them welcomed the audience and judges. The contestants were applauded by a packed house of supporters and the judges, all eagerly awaiting an entertaining evening.
During an energizing on-stage physical fitness competition, the contestants wowed the judges with nine minutes of fitness and dance choreographed by Raina Hodges Miranda. The number included a short solo piece where each contestant showcased her individual physical abilities.
Finally, the contestants graced the stage for the evening gown competition, a favorite of the judges and audience. The pageant auditors, Donnie Powell and Fred Coppedge of Flowers Foods Inc., were tasked with tabulating the judges’ scores to identify the top five. As the audience and contestants waited for the final results, there were cheers for all contestants.
The Thomasville Music and Drama Troupe, Greiner and Oglesby provided entertainment.
The Rose Queen pageant is an event of the annual Rose Show & Festival and is sponsored by CNS, community-owned cable TV, high-speed Internet and telephone service provider.