UPDATE: New location and time announced.
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma –The 2022 Muscogee (Creek) Nation Scholarship Pageant is still scheduled to take place this Saturday, June 4, but has been moved to River Spirit Casino Resort inside the ballroom located on the second floor. The start time will now be at 2:30pm.
This year, the pageant will be open to the public with no restrictions, but masks will be available.
Royalty Coordinator LuAnn Bear said that the pageant will now be hosted at a different high school throughout the reservation each year.
“We are going to hit these different high schools, so hopefully, the donation that we make will help the native students in that area,” Bear said.
That’s not the only thing new this year, according to Bear.
Students attending vocational or trade schools are now eligible to compete for the Miss title.
This year will feature category winners, giving the young ladies more opportunities to take home a trophy or multiple.
As time is closing down on the competition, there is a final total of six young Mvskoke Hoktes who are in the running for a title.
One of those six is the single Miss Muscogee Nation contestant Tema Yargee.
Assuming the crown belongs to Yargee, she will still participate in the pageant and experience preparation activities.
Yargee will be seceding current Miss Muscogee Nation Claudia McHenry, who spoke with Mvskoke Radio Show host Gary Fife about her reign.
Bear claims that there were two contestants for the elder title, but the other contestant had to drop out due to her work schedule, leaving Yargee unopposed.
The Jr. Miss contest will be challenging, with five in the running for the title: Bailey Moore, Chenoa Barnett, Emma Whitmore, Winter Beaver and Ariela Rodrigues.
The pageant will showcase the various beauty and talent among the young ladies in this year’s person contest.
Mental health was a shared platform for the girls and if selected, is something that will be promoted by whoever wins.
Each contestant admitted to their nerves, as most have never competed before.
The Royalty Retreat held on May 7 helped the girls feel more comfortable as they were guided and instructed and even tested on the information they learned to help prepare them for the special ceremony.
Spectators can expect to see storytelling in several forms, and some will incorporate the language and even bring their other known heritages in their presentations.
As the last two years’ reign was limited due to COVID restrictions, Bear said she is offering the ones who held those titles a spot in the parade.
Jr. Miss Gabby Noriega said she has many emotions as her time as a crown holder is ending.
“It is surreal right now,” Noriega said.
She encourages the other girls by telling them to have confidence on stage, which she learned from her experience.
Bear smiles from ear to ear, talking about the memories she has created with her exiting royalty crew but is excited to bring on the new reign without COVID.
Beggs High School is located at 1201 9th St. Beggs, OK 74421.
Mvskoke Media will update with more information as it becomes available.