Caylie Blowers was crowned Miss Waseca County Sleigh and Cutter Teen Friday, Feb. 7.

Blowers competed against Bailey Hodgkins and Karley Hamilton, all of Waseca. These girls competed in the pageant, not against each other but together, holding hands as the winner was announced and hugging after Blowers was crowned.

“I’m shocked, but also really excited about what’s to come,” Blowers said of her win.

Blowers is a junior at the Waseca Junior and Senior High school in Waseca with this being her first pageant competition. She has been a competitive race car driver for the past five years, along with working at Colony Court and volunteering with the Waseca County Humane Society for special events.

For her talent, she performed “Accidentally in Love” on the piano.

Her first duty after being crowned was riding in the Sleigh and Cutter parade that took place on Saturday, Feb. 8. Blowers received a $500 scholarship, crown, sash and flowers. This is a local title only, so she will not continue on to the Miss Minnesota Outstanding Teen competition. But she’ll have plenty to do as Waseca’s winner over the next year.

"There are many benefits that come from competing in the Miss America System, but one of the biggest benefits is the interview experience," Jennifer Lechner Burt said. "The ladies competing get so comfortable with interviews, that they have no problems getting jobs when they enter the workforce. They become so confident in who they are and in showing their best self, that they are no longer nervous for the interview, but confident and excited."

Prior to the crowning of the title, there was an extensive competition contestants participated in. Miss South Central’s Outstanding Teen 2019, Whitni Minton, along with Miss Waseca County Sleigh and Cutter 2019 Sally O’Brien, assisted the organizing committee with the pageant.

Minton is out of Owatonna with a platform of Students Helping Others Choose, S.H.O.C. The mission of SHOC is to teach students to make good choices, live a chemical- free life and it encourages the students to find fun, substance-free activities, that don’t involve drugs, alcohol or tobacco.

At the Waseca pageant, the three girls started with individual interviews at the start of Friday, Feb. 7; that was followed with mingling with the attendees of the Sleigh and Cutter dinner at the VFW. Next, O’Brien, of Waseca, introduced Blowers’, Hodgkins’ and Hamilton’s talent performances, along with introducing Minton’s dance. Minton also asked the contestants a question about their platforms during the evening gown and onstage interview portion.

To continue the proceedings, the band Red Dirt Road performed “Born in the USA,” while the contestants held military flags and the American Flag. Following the band’s performance, Minton surprised the audience by singing the National Anthem.

While the judges discussed who the winner would be, Blowers, Hodgkins and Hamilton danced with the younger title holders and each other in high spirits.

Eventually, Minton crowned Blowers as Miss Waseca County Sleigh and Cutter Teen.

Following the crowning of Blowers, the contestants, along with the other title holders, took a photo together one last time before they assisted with the reveal of Frosty to end the night.

Reach Reporter Bailey Grubish at 507-837-5451 or follow her on Twitter @wcnbailey. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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