FDA queens crowned at Ritz
Shimmering stars, larger-than-life film spools, stairs covered in crimson and gleaming replicas of a certain famed statuette set the tone in the Ritz Theatre Saturday night.
Radiant young beauties in sparkling gowns were waiting in the wings for “An Evening on the Red Carpet” as the 2016 Junior Miss and Miss Fort Dale Academy pageant got underway, emceed by FDA’s own April Lowery.
This year’s pageant had a few twists to give contestants more opportunities to display their on-stage poise and self-expression as well as their grace and beauty.
The junior high contestants had to step up to the microphone to introduce themselves and their sponsors, while the senior high finalists each drew a question to give an impromptu response on stage.
A total of 23 contestants vied for the title of Junior Miss FDA.
Jess Causey was selected as Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants, while Abbie Salter, a previous Miss Congeniality in the pageant, was chosen Miss Photogenic.
The judges selected Salter, Sydni Bowers, Dailyn Swann, Grayson McCall and Mary Avery Keen for the Top Five. Swann took the title and the tiara, with McCall chosen second runner-up, and Keen, first runner-up.
In the high school portion of the program, 11 young ladies stepped into the spotlight.
The judges, unable to narrow it down to a Top Five, selected a Top Six: Alex Moore, Hannah Miller, Madeline Speir, Anjoy Castleberry, Kendall Lambert and Katherine Tillery.
Speir took the title of second runner-up; Miller was selected first runner-up and Lambert was crowned Miss FDA 2016.
Amber Smith, selected Miss Photogenic, was also chosen Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants.
This year’s pageant was sponsored by the FDA Dance Team with dance team members Jennifer Grace Arnold, Caitlin Edgar and Jessica Little helping out on stage and behind the scenes.