Times shines spotlight on contestants leading up to Friday pageant

    In anticipation for the Miss Crookston 2014 Scholarship Pageant, the Crookston Daily Times will be showcasing  contestants every day to learn just a little bit more about the young ladies who have the chance to be crowned Miss Crookston. This scholarship pageant will feature an opening number, talent, platform and evening wear competition.   

    Miss Crookston, a fundamental staple of Ox Cart Festivities, will be held Friday, August 15 at 7 p.m. in the Crookston High School auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at Montague's Flower Shop and Crookston Floral. Because of construction at the high school, tickets will not be available for purchase there.    

    Today we get to know Mercades Haglund and Taylor Perry.

Q: Why did you sign up for Miss Crookston?   

    Haglund: I signed up for Miss Crookston because it looked like a lot of fun and my grandma Shirley fixes a lot of dresses for evening wear. So over the years I got to see all the beautiful dresses and I was like, I gotta be in that.
    Perry: I signed up because lots of people asked/ told me to, but it was a scary thing to do because I have a hard time talking in front of people, and being the center of attention.

Q: What has been the hardest part, for
you, in preparing for Miss Crookston?   

    Haglund: The hardest part of preparing for Miss Crookston was preparing my talent. I wanted to get as many big movements in my dance with the little time we were given.
    Perry: The hardest part in preparing for it was to be getting everything done, because there is a lot of scheduling going on, and getting dresses and shoes was hard too.

Q: How was it learning the dance
for Miss Crookston? Be honest!   

    Haglund: I think learning the opening number is going great! Everyone has been learning the dance quickly and it's been a lot of fun.
    Perry: It has been so much fun learning the dance so far, I have fun with everyone in Miss Crookston and Mikayla Hensrud is so much fun to work with on teaching us our routine.

Q: Do you have a talent that perhaps only
your close family and friends know about?   

    Haglund: I guess painting could be a talent, but a lot of people in school know about it, sorry for the insufficient answer.
    Perry: I suppose one talent that no one but my family knows about is my ability to help sick animals, and train animals (most of the tricks my dog knows took under 5 minutes to teach her, and she knows pretty hard tricks) and my ability to fish.

Q: If you could describe in just a few sentences what the ideal Miss Crookston should be like, how would you describe her? What attributes does an effective Miss Crookston need to have in order to represent Crookston?

    Haglund: She should be caring, nice, smart about her decisions and outgoing. She should try to be a role model to little girls.
    Perry: She should be able to not only think for herself but about others and her community. She needs to not be afraid to let her opinion on things be heard, and also be kind. She needs to show how strong in a sense, Crookston people are, and show her kindness (because I know a lot people in Crookston, we are pretty friendly I think). She should have that quality that shows she won't ever give up.

Q: Tell me a little bit about your platform.

    Haglund: My platform is how you should be able to freely express yourself. Through art or sports, whatever you feel comfortable with.
    Perry: My platform is called 15 Minutes of Bookworm. I want to encourage more reading in our community and everywhere else, because I believe it will help kids more academically to just read a little more and if a kid gets bullied or has problems they face, I've always read books for help and answers during those times. I'm just trying to get the idea out there to parents as well.

Q: If you were to win Miss Crookston, how would you use your reigning time?

    Haglund: If I were to win Miss Crookston, I would try to make it to everything I was asked to attend and go to some sports events. I would try and be a role model to girls.
    Perry: I would try to get my platform going, try to get awareness, maybe look into it more, and I would definitely show everyone the best qualities of Crookston.

Q: In 10 words or less, tell us about your experience in Miss Crookston.

    Haglund: It's a fun time and you make great friends.
    Perry: It's the best, every girl should think about trying it.