ST. GEORGE — Beauty will abound as contestants adorned in cowgirl hats and shimmering western wear will compete to see who will be crowned Dixie Roundup rodeo queen and princess Thursday at the Dixie Sunbowl.
The “83rd annual St. George Lions Dixie Roundup Rodeo Queen and Princess Contest” will culminate in a ceremony Thursday evening when the reigning queen and princess will take their final ride before passing their crowns to their successors, ushering in a new court for 2017.
The competition begins at 12:30 p.m. at the VFW Cottam-Hafen Post 2628, 303 E. 100 South in St. George, for the modeling and speech categories.
The competition continues at 6 p.m. at the Dixie Sunbowl, 150 S. 400 East, where contestants will participate in the final “horsemanship” category, followed after by the coronation ceremony.
Free hamburgers will be served to the public during the final competition and coronation ceremony.
This year’s pageant includes seven contestants. The queen category has three competitors while four girls rival for the title of princess.
The reigning queen from 2016, McKayla Jimmerson, will relinquish her crown to the contestant who wins the title of queen, while reigning princess, Ashton Anderson, will pass her tiara to her successor.
Competitors for queen include Naomi Weida, McKinley Drake, who was named reigning princess in 2015, and Aubrey Schafer. In 2016 Schaffer was named first runner-up to princess and Miss Congeniality two years in a row and received awards in the interview and photogenic categories.
Competitors for princess include Austyn Waegerle, Payton Christensen, Mary Rowley and Dalli Holyoak.
The contestants will present skills in horsemanship, modeling and speech to a panel of three judges during Thursday’s competition, and the crowning queen and princess are awarded scholarships, as well as saddles, equipment, tiaras and other prizes.
The queen title is open to women between the ages of 17 and 24; princesses must be between 14 and 16.
In St. George, during the early days of the Great Depression, local cowboys held impromptu rodeos behind the Tabernacle. Using wagons and trucks to form a makeshift arena, competitors roped and wrangled for spectators. The newly-formed Lions Club decided to support the popular pastime by holding an official competition.
While many of the traditions surrounding the event have changed, the heart of the three day celebration remains. The Dixie Roundup is a point of pride for the Lions Club, and the long held tradition of the Dixie Roundup Rodeo Queen and Princess Contest is part of that rich history.
The newly crowned queen and princess will show off their rodeo skills at the 83rd annual Dixie Roundup Sept. 14, 15 and 16 at the Dixie Sunbowl.
- What: 83rd annual “St. George Lions Dixie Roundup Rodeo Queen and Princess Contest.”
- When: Thursday, May 4 |Modeling and speech – 12:30 p.m. at the VFW building | Horsemanship and ceremony – 6 p.m. at the Sunbowl.
- Where: VFW Cottam-Hafen Post 2628, 303 E. 100 South, St. George | Dixie Sunbowl, 150 S. 400 East, St George.
- Cost: Free to the public.
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