No power, no problem; Miss Hibiscus 2010 is crowned in the dark

VERO BEACH — The show must go on!  And so it did, albeit in the dark.  About a half hour into the Miss Hibiscus Pageant, the power went out in the entire downtown Vero Beach area, including the Heritage Center where the pageant was being held.

The evening began normally enough, with a welcoming from Pageant Chair Elizabeth Graves Bass.  The contestants and their escorts were then introduced by Master of Ceremonies, Flynn Fidgeon.  As the girls began the contestant interviews, things went well until the 11th girl, Alex Bradshaw, when the power abruptly went off. Congratulations are owned to all the girls for bravely making it up the stairs to a darkened stage, and facing the audience, sans microphones and stage lighting.  Twenty-two girls, ranging in age from 16 to 21 years-old competed in the pageant, and did so with grace and poise despite less than ideal conditions.

The committee, which also included Mary Beth Mazzarella, Cathie Callery, Elaine Murphy, Jamie Jordan, Cindy Goetz, Janie Hoover and J. Scott Kelly did a yeoman’s job in rearranging the program, including the elimination of the final interviews.  The judges are also to be commended for attempting to keep score using only oil lamps and the scorekeepers for using manual calculators to tally the results.

As the scores were being calculated, the talented young Austin McLaughlin sang and played guitar, minus any amplification of course.  And Chloe Rose, Miss Hibiscus 2009 gave her farewell speech, saying that she had only fond memories of her experiences as Miss Hibiscus.

The award for Most Photogenic was given to 17-year old Alex Bradshaw.  Another Alex, 18- year old Alex Taylor, was presented the award for Miss Congeniality, and was also named as the Second Runner Up to Miss Hibiscus.  Both girls are duel students at Vero Beach High School and Indian River State College.

Anna Hanks, 18 years old and a student at Vero Beach High School, was named the First Runner Up to Miss Hibiscus.  And finally, Liz Diaz, a 21 year old student at Indian River State College, was crowned Miss Hibiscus 2010.  Call it fate, but almost immediately after she was crowned, the power came back on, and everyone could finally see her great big smile.{igallery 179}

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