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BEYOND BEAUTY: Miss Pahrump Pageant cultivates self-esteem, self-confidence and poise

It’s almost that time again for the town to crown the next winner of the Miss Pahrump Pageant.

The event takes place Saturday, June 13, at Saddle West Hotel and Casino Showroom, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Doors will open to the public at 6 p.m.

This year there are seven finalists with four returning from last year and three girls making their first appearance in the event.

Each of the seven girls had to attend a May 1 orientation meeting, and fill out the application and pay an $80 entrance fee.

The pageant, founded 38 years ago by Pahrump icon and businessman Ray Wulfenstein, has seen some changes in format over the years, but the Miss Pahrump Pageant has been a tradition since 1976.

The winner is awarded a $500 scholarship, which has been a tradition with the pageant since 2004.

The contestants have been rehearsing on Saturdays for the past few weeks, but the preparation will amp up just before the pageant.

“We’ve doing doing Saturday practices, and we’re going to be starting the rehearsals every day next week,” said Terri Wulfenstein, member of the board of directors for the pageant.

Originally part of the Harvest Festival, the pageant winner was the girl who sold the most rodeo tickets. Wulfenstein decided to make it a separate competition and hired a firm from Las Vegas to run it for the first couple of years, before turning it over to his family.

Pagaent director Debra Bowman told the Times in 2013 one of the most rewarding parts of the process is seeing the contestants grow in self-esteem, self-confidence and poise.

“It’s amazing to watch them grow as individuals, leave shyness behind and perform to an audience,” she said.

The talent portion of the event will feature a variety of acts, from dancing and singing, to a monologue and an artistic demonstration, there is no shortage of entertainment in this year’s event.

The contestants have a week full of events planned for them before competition heats up next weekend, to ensure they enjoy the experience.

“They’re going to go on a day trip, have a pool party and have a photo shoot,” Wulfenstein said. “So they’re going to have some fun next week.”

Tickets for the event are on sale now for $10 for general seating and $15 for VIP, and can be purchased from any of the contestants, or at the Best Western reservation desk.

This year’s finalists are:

Rebecca Casey

Age: 17

Grade: 12th

Activities: National Honor Society, Key Club, Pahrump Youth Advisory Board, JROTC, Color Guard

Future Aspirations: Medical school for Nursing/General Practitioner

Hobbies: Painting, drawing

Anna Strange

Age: 17

Grade: 12th

Activities: Student Council

Future Aspirations: Cosmetologist

Hobbies: Braiding hair, crafts, cooking, archery

Remington Nicosia

Age: 15

Grade: 11th

Activities: Cheerleading, softball

Future Aspirations: Singer or Entertainer

Hobbies: Singing, playing guitar, playing piano, airsoft

Sariah Bowman

Age: 17

Grade: 12th

Activities: Church youth leadership

Future Aspirations: Work with children with special needs, Actress

Hobbies: Drama, swimming, reading, caring for horses, hanging out with friends

Hailey Meads

Age: 17

Grade: 12th

Activities: LDS Church, Laurel class president

Future aspirations: special education teacher

Hobbies: Dancing, singing, swimming, spending time with her family and her niece

Courtney Murphy

Age: 16

Grade: 12th

Activities: National Honor Society, Student Council, PVHS Dance Team

Future Aspirations: Emergency/Trauma Nurse or Preschool Teacher

Hobbies: Dance, swimming, dance, sleeping, teaching dance, eating, and dancing

Tiffany Ledford

Age: 15

Grade: 11th

Activities: PVHS Dance Team

Future Aspirations: Cosmetologist

Hobbies: Dancing, going to the gym, swimming, spending time with family & friends

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