MIAMI COUNTY — Have you ever envied the judges who have the power to select their favorite Troy Strawberry Festival Queen’s candidate?
Well, this year, there’s an app for that.
Audience members can select their personal favorite at this year’s Troy Strawberry Festival’s Queen’s Pageant on April 11.
For the first time, audience members can vote for the “People’s Choice Award” on their Smartphones throughout the evening to choose their favorite teen.
According to the Troy Strawberry Festival’s Queen pageant director Jennie Hewitt, audience members with Smartphones with a data plan can vote for their favorite candidate after all 23 contestants have performed their talent and interviews.
“We just thought it would be a fun way to get the audience involved in the pageant because everybody always has their favorite contestant at the end of the night,” Hewitt said.
The People’s Choice Award candidate also will receive a $175 gift certificate from Giacomo’s Salon & Spa.
“We partnered up with Giacomo’s to treat the winner with a special gift certificate for being the crowd’s favorite,” Hewitt said.
The People’s Choice Award replaces the Miss Congeniality award, which was voted on by the contestants themselves, Hewitt said. Details on how to vote will be provided at the pageant. Smartphones must have their own data plan to be able to vote. Tablets, e-readers and i-touch devices, which require WiFi connections, will not be able to cast votes for the People’s Choice contest, Hewitt said.
Each candidate writes an essay about themselves and meets with the judges prior to the talent portion on April 11. The interview makes up the majority of each girl’s score.
“It’s a new, unique way for the audience to pick their favorite queen’s candidate as the evening goes along,” Hewitt said.
The following high school students will perform on stage for their chance at the crown: Katelyn Adams, Newton High School; Madelyn Bollinger, Troy High School; Gabrielle Centliver, Troy High School; Olivia Dankworth, Troy High School; Caroline Elsass-Smith, Troy High School; Taylor Joins, Troy High School; Caity Klawon, Troy High School; Jolene McCrossin, Troy High School; Morgan McKinney, Troy High School; Taylor Merrick, Tippecanoe High School; Lillian Minnich, Troy High School; Halee Mollette, Newton High School; Courtney Owens, Troy High School; Sarah Ray, Covington High School; Kayla Rinker, Tippecanoe High School; Lori Romie, Covington High School; Bailie Scheer, Newton High School; Tabitha Sexton, Tippecanoe High School; Kearsten Small, Troy High School; Celia Stanley, Troy High School; Danielle Swabb, Covington High School; Katherine Swank, Troy High School; and Nicole Zeitz, Covington High School.
The annual Troy Strawberry Festival Pageant begins at 7 p.m. April 11 in Troy High School’s auditorium.
The queen and her court also will receive college scholarship prizes in the amounts of $1,200, $800 or $600 for their future education.
The following sponsors support the 2014 Strawberry Festival Queen’s Pageant: Dr. Bentley, DDS, DP&L, A.M. Leonard Inc., Miami County Visitors Bureau, Trojan Florist, Troy Sports Center, Giacomo’s Salon & Spa and Hittle’s Jewelry.
For more information, visit www.gostrawberries.com
Melanie Yingst can be reached at (937) 440-5254 or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews