Fourth in a series of articles profiling the candidates for Mis Wasco Rose Queen. Other stories are available at WascoTrib.com.
The Miss Wasco Rose Queen Pageant is right around the corner, and the contestants are working hard to put on a spectacular show. The event will occur on Thursday, Sept. 7, at 6 p.m. at the historic Wasco High School Auditorium.
This year's theme is Barbie, and 15 young ladies are competing for the title. Abigail Martinez is one of them. She said she loves all the contestants.
"These girls are so amazing and powerful, and we all have such different stories, so coming together to share that during the pageant is something I love about this group."
"Seeing them shine in their beautiful way during physical fitness, talent, formal, and just in general is a big part of why I love these girls."
She said the coaches are huge reasons why she is running.
"Most of them have seen me grow up since my freshman year, and they have made such an enormous impact on my life, inspiring me to become more outgoing, confident and always to put my best foot forward so knowing I'd be in a positive environment was a big motivator to run."
"I've always seen Hailey, Sydney and Victoria as family. They have been there for me to guide me and make sure that I'm doing okay when it comes to school and life. When I need advice about anything, I know these wonderful ladies will be there for me, even if it's just for a shoulder to cry on."
Her biggest challenge so far has been trying to find balance. She is working in cheer and has a few other extracurricular activities.
"Making sure I have time to practice and stay on top of everything is a lot of work. It's been worth it, though."
She said she has learned a lot about herself since the beginning of preparation for the pageant until now.
"I am hard on myself, so I realized that even more when we began to learn our choreography. It's a big motivator but can also bring you down, so I learned to be more self-assured to balance it out."
During the course of the pageant, she said her family has been very supportive, understanding not only her schedule but how tired she is when she gets home from practice.
"Our practices are long and will only get longer as the pageant night gets closer. By my family just being there ready with food when I get home helps or on my days off, we'll go out for a relaxing day at the movies or a stay-at-home day with everyone."
"Knowing they're always going to be there for me and continuously motivating me with their heartfelt words has made this less stressful. My family is my biggest supporter, and I don't know what I'd do without them."
Addison Vasquez is running for Miss Wasco Rose Queen because she said that growing up, she has always looked up to all of the contestants in the pageant from previous years.
"My older sister participated in the pageant in 2018, which especially pushed me to run for the title because she is someone I admire greatly. Previous contestants and past queens have strongly influenced me and motivated me to run for the pageant because every girl showcases confidence, grace and beauty."
"I want to influence girls in my community, the younger girls that will see me and my fellow Barbie girls and impact them as my sister and other previous contestants did for me when I was younger."
She said if she wins, she will represent Wasco with a big heart and immense love for the city.
"I will make sure to fulfill the true meaning of the role Miss Wasco has on our beloved city of Wasco and be an inspiration and role model to everyone in the community."
The best part of practice for her has been the opportunity to enjoy the bonds she has developed with the other contestants.
"Everyone already knew each other before the pageant, but getting to grow a stronger bond is the best part. Every Barbie girl is positive and always uplifting one another."
"The directors are also a huge positive influence, which makes the long hours of practicing even more enjoyable and worth it."
Addison said her family has supported her so much, not only emotionally but also financially, by helping her with purchasing her dress, rides to practice and making props for her talent.
"They are my biggest supporters and never doubt me in anything I try to achieve. Now, my friends have been giving me motivation and words of encouragement. Everyone is excited to see me and the Barbie girls take the stage on pageant night."
She said she will remember most of all the practices and inside jokes made during the summer.
"Our Disneyland trip was another favorite of mine because it is the happiest place on earth. I will miss all the shared laughs I and the girls had during our water breaks and the wise words of encouragement that everyone gives each other after we run through every one of our dances."
"All of my Barbie girls are so kind and caring, and that's what I will hold close to my heart from this experience of being in the Wasco Rose Queen pageant."
Devanie Caban is running to look back at all of the memories she will make. She said it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"It's something I won't be able to do again. I did not want to miss an opportunity to make new friends and get involved with my community."
She said so far, the experience has been incredible and has seen how much work and dedication the pageant requires.
"Although it can be tiring, it is very rewarding. The girls and coaches make practices so much fun. I do not want this experience to end and will always look back at how much light this pageant has brought to my life."
She also enjoyed the group trip to Disneyland. She said it was fun, and she had the chance to connect with all the girls on a personal level.
"We went on many rides, tried amazing food and saw beautiful sights. Although I have been to Disneyland in the past, this trip was the most memorable."
She has nothing but praise for her fellow contestants and said they are beautiful inside and out, which has made the whole Rose Queen process so special for her.
"They are all very smart and talented. I can't wait to see what amazing ladies they turn out to be."
Davanie said her family and friends have supported her by motivating her to do her best by encouraging and loving her.
"I wouldn't trade them for the world. My family gives me open arms, listening ears and amazing advice. They are a constant reminder that the world is a beautiful place with amazing people. I love them all so much and couldn't ask for a better support system."
She said she has what it takes to be the queen because she is a social, hardworking leader with great problem-solving skills.
"I believe in myself and my abilities to represent our beautiful town of Wasco."
Davanie said one thing she will most remember about the pageant is the sensational feeling it gives her.
"From the big trip to the welcoming smiles. Being so excited to go to practices or feeling accomplished when you finish learning a new dance. The feeling of warmth and acceptance that my peers provide is truly unforgettable and will forever put a smile on my face."
Tickets for the pageant are $20 and can be purchased from any contestant. If any are left, they will be $25 at the door the night of the event.