Sixteen-year-old Maggie Rogal is one of six young ladies hoping to win the Miss New Westminster Ambassador pageant, but she's not the first in her family to run in the event.
Her grandmother, Patti Dewinetz (nÃ©e Pattenaude), was a 1958 contestant, while her mom, Becci Dewinetz, won Miss New Westminster in 1981.
Maggie's grandma was Miss Optimist Club, and her mom was Miss Vagabond Theatre (now the Bernie Legge Theatre). As Miss Salmonbellies, Maggie is representing another Royal City institution.
"I'm so excited for her," Becci says of Maggie. Becci says the pageant hasn't changed much since she entered more than 30 years ago.
"It's not a beauty pageant. It's more about self-awareness for the girls. - It encourages them to be out there in the community, representing their city," she says.
Like today, Becci's pageant focused on public speaking. "It's been like that for a long, long time, and I think it's a real credit to the Hyack Festival Association for how they do it and what they do," she says.
This year's pageant is being held on Saturday at Massey Theatre. The other young ladies in the running for the Miss New Westminster title are: Natasha Bosnjak, Miss De Dutch; Maggy Deras-Rodriguez, Miss G&F Financial; Cyndi Lei, Miss Royal City Rotary; Rachel Sibayan, Miss Kiwanis Club; and Grace Wardle, Miss New Westminster Police Officers Association.
Pageant coordinator Lynn Radbourne says tickets are still available for Saturday's event. The evening includes self-penned speeches from the young ladies, who are aged 16 and 17, and a dance number to Michael Jackson's Thriller.
"They've made their own costumes, and there is going to be smoke and makeup and the whole bit, and it's really going to be cute," Radbourne says. "They've done an excellent job of it."
Duck Soldier, a band of New Westminster Secondary School students, will perform as well.
"They are unbelievable," Radbourne says. The ladies will be judged on their speeches and overall poise - Radbourne is also quick to point out that it's not a "beauty pageant."
"They're judged on the speech on the sponsor and their topic speech and their impromptu question," she says.
The girls have been practising for Saturday night's event since November. Tickets to the show are $15 for the pageant only, $45 for adults and $22.50 for students who attend a reception that follows the pageant.
For more information, visit the Hyack Festival website at www.hyack.bc.ca.