Editors Note: This article has been updated to reflect the error reported on the talent performed by Emily Johnson.
Three Colusa girls swept the titles at the Mini Miss Colusa County pageant on June 7.
Alexis Avera, 11, was crowned the 2017 Mini Miss before one of the largest grandstand crowds in the history of the pageant.
The eight contestants for the title also raised the bar on talent and visual presence, and set the stage for stunning pageants in the future, Colusa County Fair officials said.
Emily Johnson, 11, earned the title first runner-up, and Salma Gonzales, 11, was crowned second runner-up.
Salma also received the Friendship Award, a title similar to Miss Congeniality.
Each contestant received an individual award in categories the judges felt were their strongest.
Avera, the only contestant whose individual award was talent, also earned the Omega Nu stage arts performance award of $75, in addition to all the donated prizes and gift certificates given to the winner of the pageant.
But it wasn’t just Avera’s a cappella rendition of “Hallelujah” that pushed her over the top with the judges, but her communication skills, visual poise, sense of values, attitude, and personal goals.
“Judges are looking for a well-rounded individual to represent the county,” said Master of Ceremonies Jim Lemos.
Avera is the daughter of David and Christy Avera. She’s a seventh grader at Egling Middle School.
Avera not only sings and dances, she also plays the guitar. She is First Aid, CPR, and babysitter certified, and is a member of Girl Scouts of America.
“I’m built to amaze,” she said, during her opening speech.
Avera plans to eventually go to college in San Diego to become an architect.
Johnson, the daughter of Michael Johnson and Gaby Duarte of Colusa, danced to a remix of “Powerful Me” as her talent. In addition to being crowned first runner-up, Johnson received her individual award for visual poise.
Gonzales, the daughter of Nolan and Rosella Gonzales of Colusa, received her individual award for her communication skills. She sang and danced a medley from “Pocahontas,” as a tribute to her Native American heritage.
Letzy Ambriz, 11, Bethany Wilson, 9, Audree Wells, 11, Bethany Wilson, 9, and Hope Gallagher, 10, took home individual awards for their visual poise.
Emma Schloesser, 11, scored highest in personal interview. Emma Schlosser played ukelele and sang “Riptide”.
In addition to reigning over the Colusa County Fair and riding in the Colusa County Fair Parade, Avera will continue to represent Colusa County at fairs, expositions, community events, and business gatherings for an entire year.
The runners-up will also step in when necessary to fulfill those responsibilities. ■