Newly crowned Miss Castlegar Marie Soukeroff started her duties immediately after Friday night’s pageant for Sunfest weekend.
“It was a busy weekend,” said 16-year-old Soukeroff, who is in Grade 10 at Stanley Humphries Secondary School.
As Miss Krueckl Financial at the pageant, she edged out seven other girls for the title and will now travel to other pageants and towns with Miss Castlegar Princess, Sabrina Broad, as ambassadors for the city.
The contestants were judged on training, personal interviews, speeches, talent, evening gowns and impromptu questions. During the training, which began in January, Soukeroff said she and the other girls became very close and she’s happy with how far they’ve come.
“All the girls did so well and everyone should be proud of themselves,” she said. “The training was so beneficial to all of us, it was great.”
Soukeroff said her favourite part of participating in the Miss Castlegar program was getting to know all the other girls.
“They’re such great people,” she said.
Although all eight girls are close in age and all go to Stanley Humphries, Soukeroff said they didn’t really know one another before training started.
“We weren’t as close as we’ve become over the past five months.”
Participating in the program helped boost her confidence, Soukeroff said.
“I’ve learned so many valuable skills that are going to help me in the long run.”
Miss Castlegar 2010, Mariah Morris, offered some points of advice to Soukeroff too, she said.
“She said it’s a great experience and to just have fun.”
After riding in Saturday’s Sunfest parade with the other Miss Castlegar contestants, Soukeroff and the other girls participated in Sunfest activities then helped with the Lions’ Family Day and children’s parade on Sunday.
Next for Miss Castlegar and Miss Castlegar Princess will be Sam Steele Days in Cranbrook, where they’ll represent the city in the parade and the pageant there.
Soukeroff doesn’t know what the year will bring yet, but she’s already sorted out what she’s going to wear.
“Me and my princess already decided that later on we want to get matching outfits,” she said.
However, more important things lie ahead first.
“I’m honoured and excited to be given the chance to represent the City of Castlegar and I’m excited for the upcoming year and I know it’s going to be a great learning experience,” she said.