Crowning achievement

McMullen named Miss Destin 2017

ABRAHAM GALVAN
The Destin Log

It was a perfectly elegant Saturday night at the Destin Community Center as parents, friends and supporters witnessed the crowning of the new Miss Destin 2017.

The evening saw five girls perform a fashion show, a choreographed dance, a formal gown display and answer a mystery question before the judges made their final decision on the winner.

“We were looking for a balance of poise, communication skills and the ability to carry themselves in public,” said Jason Belcher, one of the four judges who had the tough decision in picking this year's winner. “All the girls had great strengths. ... Anyone of them could have been the winner.”

After announcing Miss Photogenic, Miss Congeniality, the Humanitarian Award and first runner up, it was finally time for the moment everyone was waiting for.

Only one name was called out and when Rachel McMullen heard hers, she said she was overwhelmed and in shock for a few minutes as Miss Destin 2016 Syndey Curry placed the crown on her head.  

“This is amazing… I’m still surprised,” McMulllen said after winning the pageant. “I didn’t realize I won until I started walking for the first time as Miss Destin.”

The Fort Walton Beach High School junior said having this opportunity would allow her to further her relationships within the community, represent the city of Destin as a positive role model, and communicate her love for Destin with countless others.

“I’m really excited about the (Destin Fishing) Rodeo.” The 17-year-old said. “Since I love fishing, I can’t wait to get the opportunity to meet so many fishermen and fisherwomen.”

McMullen’s mother Debbie said couldn’t be any prouder of the accomplishments her daughter is achieving.

"It’s a big responsibility and I know she will be a great representative of Destin,” Debbie said. “She is going to have a wonderful year.”

Rachel said this was the first time ever competing in a pageant and had something special in mind to celebrate her big win.

“The first thing I’m going to do to celebrate is go eat and get a big dessert. … Preferably a huge cookie and ice cream,” she said with a big smile.