Okemah, Okla. – Contestants for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Scholarship Pageant will compete against each other at the Crystal Theatre at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 3.
According to MCN Royalty Coordinator LuAnn Bear, citizens have requested the pageant to make its presence in the southern region for many years. This year’s venue has the capacity to seat over 200 people. Bear is hoping to fill each of those seats.
“We are encouraging our citizens in that area to come by and visit,” Bear said.
She claims there were immediate reactions of excitement for the pageant’s location announcement.
The Crystal Theatre is an old movie theater that was originally built in the 1920s. It served the area for nearly a century before closing in 2020. It was recently purchased by the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town headquartered in Okemah in 2022.
Bear said it is a much different setting than what the pageant is used to. It still resembles an old movie theater.
“We are thankful to rent the space from them,” Bear said.
Last year’s pageant was held at The River Spirit Casino and Resort Ballroom. Previously, the pageant has been held virtually due to the Covid pandemic. The most common site has been the Mvskoke Dome.
Contestants have undergone etiquette training, Mvskoke language classes, talent practicing, and even staging for the pageant itself during the Royalty Ready and Royalty Retreat events.
There are four contestants for the Jr. Miss Muscogee Nation title and one contestant for the Miss Muscogee Nation title.
Jr. Miss Chenoa Barnett is the only contestant competing for the Miss Muscogee title. She will still participate in the pageant show, but will assume the Miss title without competition.
“She did great as a Jr. Miss, so I know she will be a great Miss,” Bear said.
Following in the footsteps of Miss Muscogee Nation Tema Yargee, Barnett’s role will develop into a “big sister” mentor role to the Jr. Miss title winner. Her experience in the Jr. title will help her develop these skills as the higher role.
There were late inquiries of the Miss Muscogee Nation title, but unfortunately Bear claims she could not accept them.
“Deadlines are important so we can get everything done in time,” Bear said.
The pageant kicks off the annual festival activities each year for the month of June.
Citizens can expect to see the pageant winners in the Festival parade.
Bear is inviting all former royalty to join in the parade this year.
The royalty duo will immediately be attending Festival Events and other tribal nations’ pageants as well as many other events throughout the year-long reign.
According to Bear, the royal pair will average about 12 to 14 events monthly.
She claims it is a great experience for the girls for travel and educational purposes.
For more information call LuAnn Bear at 539-286-4695.