For the first time …

Inaugural pageant crowns three

By Ben Cox, WLDS
Photos By ElCrow

Lauryn Maher was crowned as the first ever Miss Jacksonville last night prior to the kickoff of the Jacksonville Main Street Downtown Concert Series. Maher was one of four competing for the title.

Other new royalty crowned was Little Miss Jacksonville Ambreia Orris and Junior Miss Jacksonville Carley Peterson.

Pageant director Calla Merriman says she’s pleased with the success of the city’s first pageant and with all the girls who competed: “I’m very excited. It went well. We had a great group of girls in all ages. There was a lot of ‘newness,’ but we are excited about what they can do in downtown this year — having a face for the Jacksonville Main Street for events and someone to be a liaison for little kids and role models for them.”

In all, eight Little Miss, eight Junior Miss and four Queen contestants competed by completing an interview, answering an on-stage question and modeling of a party dress/evening gown. The Downtown Square was packed for the event that started at 5 p.m. despite the heat and humidity.

Long-term plans are to make the annual event a part of the festivities that kickoff the summer schedule for Jacksonville Main Street and its Downtown Concert Series.

A large portion of the pageant crowd stuck around to hear the returning The Steepwater Band for the year’s first concert in the series. The afterparty cruised over to Don’s Place, where Aubrey Reed & The Undecided’s entertained from 9 p.m. to midnight. The Ronni Ward Band will be the talent for next week’s concert.

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