LAKELAND, FL – Young women from across the state will compete for the right to wear the Miss Florida tiara during the Miss Florida Pageant and Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen Pageant.
The 83rd Annual Miss Florida Pageant and Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen Pageant will take place from Tuesday, June 25 to Saturday, June 30 at the RP Funding Center's Youkey Theater, formerly known as the Lakeland Center, 701 Lime St. The event is open to the public.
A unique spin on this year’s event is the participation of Miss Lakeland and Miss Winter Haven. The title of Miss Lakeland was revived by local entrepreneur Christine Boring, the nonprofit organization held their first pageant March 18 at the Lake Mirror Theater. The Miss Winter Haven title was added this year as well.
In total, five titles from the Polk County area will be represented, including Miss Polk County, Aaliyah Manning; Miss Swan City, Madison Zavitz; and Miss Lakeland, Isabel Skormin; as well as Miss Florida Citrus, Megan Price and Miss Winter Haven, Megan Boykin.
Titleholders from around the state will gather in Lakeland to compete for the title of Miss Florida. The Miss Florida titleholder will then take part in the Miss America Pageant, the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women and one of the nation's largest achievement programs.
Miss Florida Sara Zeng won the title in July 2017 when she competed with 46 other young women for the opportunity to represent the Sunshine State.
And while getting a shot to win the title of Miss America is the ultimate goal of Miss Florida, if, for some reason she isn’t chosen, she’s still busy. Zeng, for example, has represented the pageant at various events around the state, from opening days and first pitches to pageants and ribbon cuttings. Additionally, she’s used her skills as a talented musician to connect to students in classrooms from Tampa to Tallahassee and beyond.
Besides the title of Miss Florida, there is also the Miss Florida Outstanding Teen competition. Held during the same timespan as the Miss Florida Contest – June 27-30 – the winners of the teen competition are more than just forerunners for Miss Florida. They also appear at various events around the state. Locally, Miss Lakeland’s Outstanding Teen, Jaiden Lagarino, as well as Miss Swan City's Outstanding Teen, Grace Craichy, will be competing.
The Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen Pageant and the Miss Florida Pageant will take place on June 30 at 4 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m. respectively. Preliminary competition is from June 26 to 28. The Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen Preliminary will be held June 29 at 6 p.m. The Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen Finals are June 30 at 4 p.m. The Miss Florida Finals and the crowning of the next Miss Florida start June 30 at 7 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit www.missflorida.org.