There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but there's only one queen on the docks.
The Destin Community Center was packed to the gills Saturday night as the six Miss Destin hopefuls took the stage, competing for the crown.
Taking home the coveted Miss Destin title, crown and sash Saturday night at the Destin Community Center, 17-year-old Caroline Oswalt can now officially begin her yearlong reign over the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village."
After being crowned Miss Destin, the junior at Fort Walton Beach High School said she was so excited.
"I'm surprised; all of the girls were really deserving, and sweet,” Oswalt said.
But “the competition was intense," she added.
Oswalt told The Log that all five of her fellow pageant-mates vying for the illustrious title of Miss Destin were just as deserving as she. The five additional Miss Destin contenders were: Erin Groth, Cassie Roby, Hannah Gord, who was named Miss Photogenic, The Nancy Cheney Miss Congeniality winner and first runner-up; Natalie Lawson, who was the second runner-up; and Bailey Rathmann, who won The Peyton LoCicero Humanitarian Award.
Winning over the pageant judges through a number of categories; including poise, grace, confidence, community-involvement and audience-approval, Oswalt will represent Destin throughout the next year and pose with thousands of anglers and their catch at the October-long Destin Fishing Rodeo, which is celebrating its 65th year.
Crowned by the outgoing Miss Destin Callie Kaltz, Oswalt has lofty and significant, sandy footprints to fill during her time as Miss Destin.
With the crown come responsibilities; annually, Miss Destin makes appearances at dozens of events during her reign, including the Christmas parade and the Billy Bowleg's parade. But, Oswalt said what she is most looking forward to during her time serving as Miss Destin, is spending time on the docks in October during the rodeo.
Oswalt, an avid fisherwoman since childhood, said she enjoys fishing and being around the fishing industry in general. Cobia is at the top of Oswalt's fishing favorites. And, according to her family, that's no fish tale; Oswalt really can cast a line, once hooking a 52-pound cobia from the stern of her family's boat, the Sweet Caroline.
Besides fishing, Oswalt spends her time like most teenagers living on The Emerald Coast; hanging out with friends and family, going to school, playing on her school's tennis team and working with various clubs, including the Leadership Club at Fort Walton Beach High School.
During the mystery question round, when Christian Garman, WEAR ABC 3 meteorologist and the longtime master of ceremonies, asked Oswalt, "Who, outside of your family is your biggest influence?" Oswalt said that was her best friend, 16-year-old Kerri Andre. Oswalt told The Log Andre is just an all-around great person, and that’s why she is influenced by her.
"We've been best friends since 8th grade," Andre said. "But, we're so close it feels like we've been together forever."
Oswalt's family — mom; Amy, dad; Greg and 14-year-old sister Emily — confirmed that statement, saying it's next to impossible to split the two up.