Ruler of the Rodeo: Miss Destin to be crowned Saturday

Savannah Chastain
Miss Destin contestants on the Southern Star harbor cruise. Front row from left; Hannah Shoults, Kira Moraca, Madeline Corley, Rebekah Stepp, Lakin McKenzie DeVaux, Catalina “Callie” Peterman, and Ella Rutledge. Back row from left; Jessica Vermillion, Bianca Smith, Abbie Maclin, Adelle Adamson, and Haylie Nicole Starr.

This coming Saturday will be the big event for the Miss Destin dozen, as the contestants for this year’s Miss Destin pageant are gearing up for the catwalk.

“It’s going really well,” said pageant coordinator, Helen Donaldson. “We have 12 fabulous contestants — the most we’ve had in years.”

So far the girls have participated in various activities such as an interview tea with the judges, a Mary Kay makeover, a fashion fitting by Judith March Southern Fashion House and finally a harbor cruise on the Southern Star.

The Miss Destin pageant began in 1951 as a sponsored program through the Destin Fishing Rodeo, and has become a historic, annual event centered on the month-long fishing competition in October.

“Miss Destin will represent the city of Destin at the fishing rodeo, at ribbon cuttings, and parades,” explained Donaldson. “She will hold court over the Destin fishing rodeo during the month of October, and is there to have her picture made with every fish that’s caught.”

        To qualify for Miss Destin, the girls had to be in high school, between the ages of 15 and 19, and live within Destin city limits. As Miss Destin is not a beauty pageant, the contestants are judged on personality, communication skills and availability to fulfill duties at the fishing rodeo. Donaldson detailed this year’s pageant lineup as she said, “The girls will do a fashion show, a dance, and formal gown presentation, and there will also be a mystery question.”

Scholarship money is awarded to the winner and two runners up, as well as prizes given by form of a Humanitarian Award, a Miss Congeniality Award, and a Miss Photogenic Award.


The 2014 Miss Destin pageant will be held at the Destin Community Center on Saturday, April 5, at 7 p.m.