Miss Kitsap, Poulsbo pageants set to swing

BREMERTON — Twenty area women will be “Swing’in with the Sisters” tonight.

And two of them will jitterbug away with a crown.

The 2005 Miss Poulsbo/Miss Kitsap Pageant begins at 4 p.m. tonight in the Bremerton High School performing arts center. Six Poulsbo area women will be vying for the 51st Miss Poulsbo title while 14 Kitsap women are hopefuls for the third Miss Kitsap crown.

Besides representing their areas for the next year, both titleholders will compete at the Miss Washington Pageant in July, at which Washington’s representative for Miss America is chosen.

But contestants will also be competing for a share of $25,050 in scholarship money. Both Miss Poulsbo and Miss Kitsap receive $5,000, the runners-up in both categories receive $1,000 and all non-finalists receive $400. The remainder is given to individuals in several categories including talent, community service and scholastic achievement.

The newest award available at this year’s pageant will come from the Olympic College Foundation. Joan Hanten, director of the foundation, will present three $1,000 scholarships to previously chosen contestants who applied for the certificates for OC education.

Lynda Nilsen of the Miss Poulsbo Organization, which oversees both titles, explained that they approached the foundation with the help of Terri Hern, who sits on the foundation board. They were hoping for a $1,000 scholarship but through a recent generous donation to the foundation, the organization received three.

“We’d been trying to forge a partnership between us and them. It was kind of a dream of ours,” Nilsen said. “Because the junior college is so close to us in Poulsbo and in Bremerton, we thought it would be a great thing.”

Contestants will be judged on a personal interview conducted yesterday, as well as talent, on-stage interviews, evening gown and swimsuit/fitness competitions on pageant night. Nilsen said the entire event is entertaining but she is most looking forward to the talent competition, which includes such diverse talents as ballet, vocal, flute, cowboy poetry and piano.

“I think the talent is just going to be phenomenal, outstanding,” Nilsen said. “And it’s a mass. It’s all of them.”

The event will be hosted by Miss Poulsbo Canon Henness, Miss Kitsap Amy Stadshaug, Miss Poulsbo 2002 Kristen Eddings and Miss Poulsbo 2001 Jeana Ostheller Halversen. Henness and Stadshaug will also be saying good-bye after a year of wearing the crowns for Kitsap and Poulsbo. Nilsen said both did outstanding jobs and the new titleholders will have big shoes to fill.

“They’ve been a blessing, a true blessing,” Nilsen said of Stadshaug and Henness. “They’re just so level headed and calm. They got along together and they wanted to do anything and everything whether it was community service or a community event.”

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