Miss Trail 2018 candidates (Michelle Epp photos)

Miss Trail Pageant starts weekend festivities

Six candidates are in the running for Miss Trail 2018, 7 pm Friday

Whether it’s volunteering on the weekends, studying local history, speaking in public or walking across the stage in heels – all agree that time flies when you’re having fun as part of the Trail Ambassador Programme.

And when the new Miss Trail is crowned tonight, (Friday) that will mark 10 years since Michelle Epp and Beverley Benson brought the ambassador program back to the stage.

The two event organizers understood its value in boosting self esteem and self confidence in young women, as Epp was a former Miss Congeniality and Benson was Miss Trail. After the program fell to the wayside in the early 2000s, Epp and Benson were eager to bring it back to the stage with the modern spin, ‘This ain’t no beauty pageant.’”

Since May 2008, they’ve never looked back.

“We look at the candidates, the young ladies, at the end of the program who have grown so much,” Epp told the Times. “And not only seeing them grow, but when we listen to their parents afterwards, they are so proud.”

She says some mothers and fathers still come into the program thinking it’s simply a beauty pageant.

“At the end of every year, they can’t believe how far their daughters have come,” said Epp. “So afterward, those people who thought it was a beauty pageant, they become our biggest advocates. It’s pretty cool to see how the adults change their view after they see their daughters go through it.”

And this year is no exception.

“We have six amazing candidates,” Epp said. “It’s going to be very close for the judges because the young ladies are all very enthusiastic, it’s been a really good year.”

In the vying for Miss Trail 2018, Miss Trail Princess and Miss Congeniality are: Miss Kiwanis Rue Urban; Miss Royal Canadian Legion Isabelle Impey; Miss Colombo Lodge Oberon Kennedy-Scheck; Miss Knights of Pythias Clarice Tuai; Miss Italo Canadese Reigha Wyatt; and Miss Shoppers Drug Mart Kathryn Daines.

The Miss Trail 2018 Pageant kicks off at 7 p.m. in The Bailey Theatre.

All the ambassadors will be riding on the city’s float in the Trail Firefighter’s Parade which starts at 11 a.m. in downtown Trail on Saturday. The Sidewalk Cafe and Kidzone runs in the arena from noon until 4 p.m. that day, with the popular Grape Stomp set for 3 p.m.

Later, the arena will house an evening of song and dance with local flair featuring Gary Morissette & the Unknown Culprits and Scarlet Sway. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

The weekend culminates on Sunday with Family Fun Day in Gyro Park from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Locals and visitors are reminded that Trail Transit will be providing a free shuttle bus during the busy times of the festival. The bus will do a Cedar Avenue/ Gyro Park / Aquatic Centre loop from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and a Cedar Avenue / Gyro Park loop from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

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