The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Mar. 1, 2024

VWHS senior is Queen Jubilee XLVIII

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

Being on stage isn’t anything new for Van Wert High School senior Mackenzie Jones.

Among her many accomplishments in high school – theater, including the role of Dorothy in the upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz, OMEA State Chorus, and marching band field commander. She put that experience to use and won the title of Queen Jubilee XLVIII at the Van Wert Peony Pageant, held Friday night at LifeHouse Church.

Van Wert High School senior Mackenzie Jones is all smiles after being crowed Queen Jubilee XLVIII. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

“At first I was a little nervous but I realized it’s just a performance in a fancy dress so I just did my best,” Jones said after winning the pageant. “I have always dreamed of being Queen Jubilee and just to be able to represent my community is this historic event is amazing.”

Jones, the daughter of Major Jim and Laura Jones, was one of seven candidates seeking the crown. She won a $1,500 college scholarship and an additional $500 for winning the talent competition by singing “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again,” from the Phantom of the Opera.

When asked to name what she liked best about the pageant and the entire process, Jones gave a simple answer.

“Just being able to create new friendships – I love these girls and we’ll always stay together,” she said. “It’s just amazing how this pageant connects us all.”

Jones plans on pursuing a degree in vocal music performance at Bowling Green State University in the fall.

In addition to the talent competition, each girl took part in an evening gown promenade and answered an on-stage question. They also performed an opening number and completed interviews prior to the pageant.

Kiara Bahena of Wayne Trace was the first runner-up and won a $900 scholarship plus another $250 scholarship for being named Miss Congeniality.

Emma Hatcher of Lincolnview was the second runner-up and won a $600 scholarship. Vantage Career Center representative Riona Workman won the Community Involvement Award and a $250 scholarship, and Paulding’s Caydence Rue won Miss Photogenic and the People’s Choice Award and a $100 scholarship.

Other contestants were Kimberly Sites of Crestview and Nevaeh Seals of Parkway. All contestants were awarded a minimum of $200 for being selected as their school’s candidates, and each received a gift bag full of gifts and donations from businesses and individuals.

The emcee was Van Wert City Schools Superintendent Mark Bagley, and escorts were Evan Bracken, Dylan Buzard, Carter Renner and Isaiah Watts. Pageant judges were Donna Boerger, Jordyn Husted and Rick Miller, while interview judges were Amy McCreery, Katie Parrish and Jena Wierwille. The pageant auditor was Rick Sealscott.

After selling the most 50-50 tickets, Emerson Roy won the title of Little Miss and Leena Schaffer was named Junior Miss Jubilee. Flower girls for the evening were Ava Wade, Eily Ousley, Jana Younker, Lillyn Munoz, Nora Holliday, Lily Lisi, Isabel Lisi and Mallory Salisbury.

All seven Queen Jubilee XLVIII candidates performed an opening number at Friday night’s Peony Pageant. Bob Barnes photo

POSTED: 03/31/23 at 11:18 pm. FILED UNDER: News