LUBBOCK, Texas— After a 14 year pause, The Juneteenth Pageant is back. 21 Boys and girls, ages 7 to 17, will compete for Miss and Mister Juneteenth 2022. Many contestants said they were excited and a little nervous to take to the stage. The most common response was that they couldn’t wait to see their families in the crowd.
Juneteenth Pageant’s Chairman Tiffany Lillyessix said it was time to bring back the tradition for the next generation.
“The kids are going to be the ones we need to show that they’re going to be the legacy when they leave,” Lillyessix said.
Lillyessix said a lot of hard work and long hours went into pulling the event together. However, it was worth it to see how much the kids and teens have gotten out of the program.
Each contestant was required to do 10 to 20 hours of community service–which most of them exceeded. There was also a GPA requirement standard of 3.0.
Over the last few months, the contestants were encouraged to attend prep classes that helped build a series of skill sets like public speaking, make-up basics, and how to tie a tie. The classes were optional, but also offered the kids a chance for further mentorships and team building opportunities.
17 year old, Danielle Lilly said it’s been an opportunity for her to feel closer to her community and celebrate history.
“I truly feel like with everything that’s going on in our society, in our real world, we need to be more active in holidays like this,” Lilly said, “like in the African American community, I feel like being able to have these events and activities for our generation and younger kids will like help benefit everyone in the long run.”