The Miss Wasco Rose Queen Pageant last Thursday was nothing but spectacular. All seven contestants sparkled on stage. The competition was fierce, but Ensley Mehlberg took home the title.
Mehlberg also received the award for physical fitness and was the talent winner.
"I feel really happy. I am still shaking. It doesn't feel real," said Mehlberg. "I look forward to connecting with the community, meeting all the little girls and boys, and seeing what they have to say."
The contestants were Nevaeh Snow, Makenna Gebhardt, Sabrina Miramontes, Daniela Ruiz, Ensley Mehlberg, Grace Derington and Noelia Valera.
Each of them worked hard preparing for the pageant to ensure the event was special and memorable. They put in countless hours of practice perfecting their dance performances and talents.
As contestants, these young ladies are outstanding Wasco High School students with extraordinary accomplishments in sports, academics, community service and extracurricular activities.
It was a night where all the girls were superstars, and several received additional recognition.
Second runner-up was Makenna Gebhardt.
"I feel extremely grateful and blessed to be the second runner-up. I couldn't have done it without the other six girls, the advisors and my family," said Gebhardt. "The best part of the night was running back and forth and seeing all of the girl's excitement."
The first runner-up was Nevaeh Snow.
"I am so happy and excited to have this opportunity. I look forward to being a good leader for the little girls in our community," said Snow. "The best part was when we all hugged and just enjoyed the moment."
Ezra Rodriguez said of his sister Nevaeh, "She is the hardest worker I know."
The title for Miss Congeniality went to Noelia Valera, and the scholastic award went to Daniela Ruiz.
The girls performed elaborate dance routines throughout the night and sang, acted, painted and played music for the talent competition.
The pageant's theme was Disney's Neverland, and they all dressed accordingly. They wore a number of outfits and looked stunning in their formal gowns. Their escorts accompanied them on stage for the night, where they danced together.
Energy from the audience ran high with loud cheers and clapping. The Wasco High School Auditorium was packed with family and friends attending the event to show their support.
It was a team effort to put on the event, and there was a reception after for the girls to mingle with guests and take lots of pictures.
Grace Derington said the experience felt magical.
"It went by really fast, and I was trying to take it all in. I felt pretty in my dress, and that was when it felt real."
She said what she loved best about the pageant was how close the girls bonded together.
"By the end, we all became good friends, and I know we are always going to stick together no matter what," said Derington.
Noelia Valera said she thought the night was a lot of fun and something she had been looking forward to for a very long time.
"Now that it is over, I am sad," said Valera.
She said it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a huge honor to participate.
The 2020 Miss Wasco Rose Queen, Isabella Garcia, also attended the festivities.
"I came to show my support. As a queen, you will be able to go out and meet lots of important people," said Garcia.
She said, "The little girls look up to you, and you feel like an actual queen. My advice to the winner is to live every single moment because it goes by really fast."
Enevy Lopez added, "All of these girls are very talented, and they each have goals and dreams to achieve in the future."
Haley Gallardo said, "The girls are beautiful and did so good. I grew up with them and have known them since second grade, so it's cool watching them do this."
All in all, these girls are more than just pretty faces; undoubtedly, they will set out to accomplish great things.
"I am incredibly proud of all seven of them. The hard work that goes into this pageant does not go unnoticed, and the community saw that," said pageant director Nicole Sanchez. "These girls really sprinkled their dixie dust on that stage last night."