The showroom inside the Saddle West Hotel Casino erupted in celebration when contestant Hailey Meads was named the 2015 Miss Pahrump Pageant winner on Saturday.
The high school senior also captured four additional accolades including casual wear, talent, formal wear and the on-stage question.
Pageant Chair Debra Bowman said Meads’ performance is something she has never seen during her time with the pageant.
“Winning four of the competition categories is very uncommon and in the 16 years that I’ve been associated with the pageant,” she said. “I have never seen that happen before. All of the contestants performed admirably and it was a very tough competition with all of the talent. What the girls all did was just amazing.”
Bowman made sure to say the event is not a beauty pageant because overall, it has nothing to do with beauty, more than it does other important factors.
“If you look at all the competition, it’s more about creativity and their ability to present themselves,” she said. “The first competition other than photogenic is casual wear. We certainly don’t believe in doing a swimsuit type competition, and as far as talent is concerned, they have to come up with a creative little piece about themselves.”
The pageant also serves as a funding mechanism for the winner if they choose to attend college.
“The pageant also serves as a scholarship program where we offer $500,” Bowman said. “It’s not a lot, but it is something for the queen and it supports higher education whatever it may be or what she decides.”
Bowman also said the pageant requires various skills that will help with confidence later on in life.
She said the pageant helped with her daughter Sariah’s confidence this year.
“A lot of them were afraid to get up in front of people but it has really been quite transforming for some of them,” she said. “I noticed the difference it made in my daughter because she was very shy and reserved. She had a nice voice and we wanted her to get out there and try. It was just such a positive experience for her and the other girls.”
Bowman also said the pageant will observe a special milestone as it returns again in 2016.
“This was started in 1976, so next year will be our 40th pageant anniversary,” she said. “It’s easily one of the longest running pageants in town and it actually got its start as the Harvest Festival Queen. In 1976 they started the Miss Pahrump Pageant where the queen held two titles which were Harvest Festival Queen and Miss Pahrump.
Meads spends her leisure time dancing, singing, swimming and spending time with family. She plans to become a special education teacher once her required studies are completed.
Additional talent winners included Tiffany Ledford for Most Photogenic, while Rebecca Casey earned the Director’s Award.
Remington Nicosia took the Miss Congeniality honors.
Contestants Anna Strange, Courtney Murphy and Sariah Bowman rounded out the field of seven.
Debra Bowman said the competition is not about winning but gaining confidence they can carry over to their every day lives as young women.
“I was impressed with every single one of them,” she said. “All of the girls were just amazing and it was great working with all of them.”