LANCASTER –Miss Rancho Vista Shannon Gonzales covered her mouth and wept tears of joy when her name was announced Sunday evening.
As the new Miss Antelope Valley, the 17-year-old will reign over the Antelope Valley Fair festivities, from Aug. 17 – 26, and will serve as ambassador in many events throughout the Valley for the next year.
“I’m so excited and I’m so happy that my whole family is here to witness it with me,” Gonzales gushed. “I couldn’t be any happier.”
Gonzales was one of 16 community queens vying for the title at the 68th annual Miss Antelope Valley Pageant, which took place at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds’ Poppy Pavilion.
Contestants were judged on three segments: A personal interview (conducted before the stage show), a prepared speech, and an impromptu question and answer.
The competition was judged by the Tournament of Rose Bowl Judges from Pasadena.
The show began with a choreographed dance routine featuring all 16 contestants and the reigning Miss Antelope Valley, Ivy Bedard.
For their prepared speeches, contestants had to pick a famous female singer and then give a speech about the artist. Many of the contestants chose to give their speeches in full character.
Dressed in black sequined pants and a bright red jacket, Gonzales dazzled as Pat Benatar.
After the speeches, contestants changed into formal wear and were escorted by their fathers before taking the microphone for the impromptu question and answer segment.
Gonzales did not hesitate when asked to identify the best place to visit in the Antelope Valley.
“The best place to visit in the Antelope Valley would be the Palmdale Amphitheater. They always have amazing music and it’s also in Rancho Vista. With that, it’s such an amazing town because it’s so family oriented and right when you walk in, you feel like you’re at home,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said she is most looking forward to reigning over the Antelope Valley Fair.
“I’m excited because I know it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Gonzales said.
Other community queens who competed in the 68th annual Miss Antelope Valley Pageant were:
Miss Antelope Acres Courtney Harter, Miss Palmdale America Fuzell, Miss Eastside Brooke Bonds, Miss Acton Cheyenne Buechner, Miss California City Kaylee Evans, Miss Boron Destiny West, Miss Edwards Alexis Baiza, Miss Sun Village Maribelle De Cosse, Miss Hughes Elizabeth Lakes Veronica Rodriguez, Miss Mojave Marissah Robertson-Bolton, Miss Quartz Hill Heather Hayes, Miss Littlerock Michelle Martinez, Miss Agua Dulce Colyn Gackenbach, Miss Rosamond Hilary Sanchez and Miss Lancaster Tiffany Johnson.