Ashby eight-year-old wins Miss Minnesota [UPDATED]Published 10:48am Thursday, August 16, 2012 Updated 10:48am Thursday, August 16, 2012
The National American Miss Pageants are not like the glitzed-up toddlers and cut-throat moms you see on TV. The winner of this year’s Miss Minnesota title in the junior preteen division is an eight-year-old from Ashby, Ava Belle Carlson.
“Little American Miss is all about inner natural beauty, confidence and interviewing skills. No makeup is allowed until contestants are 13,” said Ava’s mom, Karrie Carlson.
The pageant is for girls ages four to 18, with five age divisions. Scoring is divided into four categories: 30 percent is based on the interview, 30 percent on the personal introduction, 30 percent poise and formal wear, and 10 percent is awarded for bringing stuffed animals and books to donate.
Ava was eight this year, so she entered into the Junior Preteen division for girls ages seven to nine. She placed first out of 84 girls at the competition held July 26 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Minneapolis.
“My favorite part about the pageants is meeting new people, learning everybody’s name, and being down there and having fun,” she said.
She also did well in several optional competitions that coincided with the main pageant, such as the actress competition, casual wear modeling, most promising model, miss personality, and best thank you note.
Carlson originally got involved in pageants in 2010 with Little Miss Battle Lake. As the winner of the pageant, she received a scholarship to participate in National American Miss. Ava entered into the princess age group for four to six year olds. “I pretty much went to the first one to have fun, and I won,” said Ava.
She held her reign for a year, doing community work and volunteering, and participating in events like parades. One of her favorite projects was when she helped raise money for the Humane Society. People could come to the armory to get their dogs photographed, and if the dogs were good for their picture, Ava gave them a dog biscuit. “The dogs were so cute,” she said.
A large part of the pageant is community involvement and leadership. As part of the national competition, contestants must log at least four hours of volunteer work. “Many of the participants and winners are from the metro area, so they have many opportunities to get involved,” said Karrie, “So if anyone has any ideas, it would be appreciated.”
Carlson will be traveling to Anaheim, Calif. to participate in nationals during Thanksgiving week. Contestants get the chance to tour Hollywood, spend a day in Disneyland, and win door prizes like a 2012 Ford Mustang Convertible.
If you would like Ava to help out with a project, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ava Belle is the daughter of Matt and Karrie Carlson, and she has two younger siblings, Parker and Thea. She is involved in gymnastics, theater, singing, dancing, reading, and playing with her three dogs at home.