Held just days before the Miss Destin pageant, the Miss Destin Judge's Tea is just as exciting — and anxiety-filled for the ladies — as the pageant itself.



Conducting themselves like true pageant professionals, this year's six Miss Destin contestants stayed poised and proper all afternoon, hiding any butterflies they may have had.



Walking up to the pink and white house of Kathleen Earley, the hostess of the judge’s tea, it was almost easy to overlook the torrential downpour of the day — almost.



Once inside, the Miss Destin hopefuls, their families and Destin Rodeo officials mingled while the contestants were taken downstairs, one-by-one, for an interview with the four rodeo judges.



17-year-old Bailey Rathmann, a junior from Fort Walton Beach High School, told The Log before her meeting with the judges that she wasn't nervous yet. According to the order they were using — first names, backward — Rathmann knew she would be the last of the six girls to meet with the judges.



"I'm not too nervous," said Rathmann."



With the pageant coming up this Saturday, Rathmann and her fellow Miss Destin hopefuls will compete in a number of categories, including: evening gown, fashion show and they will also perform a group dance during the pageant.



Cassie Roby, 16, a sophomore at Niceville Senior High School, is a majorette and has been twirling since she was in the fourth grade. According to Roby, this isn't her first rodeo, so to speak.



"At Destin Middle School," said Roby. "I did the Miss Marlin pageant two years in a row."



The tea's hostess — Earley — commented on how kind and how well any of the six ladies would represent Destin.



"Aren't you glad you aren't a judge," Earley joked with guests of the Miss Destin tea.



The Miss Destin pageant will be held this Saturday, April 20, at 7 p.m. at the Destin Community Center. The event is free and open to the public.