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Contestants drew laughs from Master of Ceremonies Matthew Paden and the crowd during the Apple Blossom Princess Pageant on Saturday at Missouri Theater. Winners from the princess, junior queen and queen pageants will ride in the 2015 Apple Blossom Parade on May 2.

Every year the Apple Blossom Pageant gives the audience a chance to revel in the wide smiles and bright dresses the contestants put on display.

For those who opened their ears as well as their eyes, some of St. Joseph's best points of pride were revealed.

One portion of the competition required contestants to read essays they had written about their hometown. Some showed pride in their new elementary schools, others took pride in St. Joseph's history, and nearly all mentioned the friends and family that hold the community fabric together.

The day began with nervous parents snapping pictures of the princess contestants as they lined up along the theater's east wall before they walked backstage for their big moment. Girls who would compete for junior queen emerged from dressing rooms and took seats in the audience to wait their turn. Meanwhile, potential queens rushed through the building's front doors with their hair and make-up ready and dresses slung over their shoulder.

Each would eventually walk across the stage, in groups and then solo, to take a shot at impressing the judges.

By the end of the night, judges had selected three girls to represent the community May 2 in the 91st Apple Blossom Parade.

Jacqueline Janorschke was crowned as the Apple Blossom Queen, while Emma Schieber earned the title of junior queen and Lyric Williams-McGuire was chosen as the princess.

Becky Boerkircher, secretary/treasurer of the Apple Blossom Festival's board of directors, said the contestants were evaluated in a variety of ways.

"There's just so many aspects of it that are just wonderful for the girls," Ms. Boerkircher said. "It's not just about beauty. It's about poise and personality and being able to present yourself on your feet."

Clinton Thomas can be reached at clinton.thomas@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPThomas.

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