NORTH WEBSTER — Forty-nine brave young ladies and gentlemen took the stage inside the North Webster Community Center on Friday night, 29 of whom were seeking the title of Cutie Queen while the other 20 had their eyes on becoming the Cutie King. The crowns that were handed out at the end of the event were part of the 71st annual North Webster Mermaid Festival, taking place throughout the weekend on the shores of Webster Lake.
The event took place on the stage decorated by the North Webster Lady Lions, which reflected the festival’s 2016 theme, “Indiana Bicentennial, Celebrating Indiana.” North Webster native Phil Metcalf emceed the evening’s festivities, which were well attended by family and friends of the many contestants, as well as members of the North Webster community.
Initially brought onto the stage in two groups, girls preceding the boys, contestants had a chance to make a first impression upon the panel of judges. They then were escorted off the stage and returned in smaller groups of four ladies and three gentlemen at a time.
Judges had the opportunity to evaluate each contestant on a scale from 1-10 in several categories, including poise, ability to follow direction, stage behavior and attire, to name a few of the criteria.
After all the contestants had an opportunity in front of the judges, the program took a short intermission to tally the evaluations. Following the break, four queen candidates and four king candidates were brought back onto the stage. Beginning with the third runner-up in each category, the placings were announced, as follows:
Cutie Queen finalists:
Third runner-up — Railey Klinefelter, 6, daughter of Brandon and Kassy Klinefelter of Warsaw.
Second runner-up — Melodee Lantz, 6, daughter of Charles and Myhanh Lantz of Millersburg.
First runner-up — Audrey Musgrave, 6, daughter of Chris and Carrie Musgrave of Syracuse.
2016 Cutie Queen — Addyson Thomas, 6, daughter of Kyle and Sara Thomas of Denver.
Cutie King finalists:
Third runner-up — Jace Stewart II, 5, son of Jace and Liz Stewart of Syracuse.
Second runner-up — Noah Scott-Cavender, 5, son of Geoffrey Cavender and Alona Kitchens of Winona Lake.
First runner-up — Lawson Anglin, 6, son of Lucas Anglin and Robin Plank of Goshen.
2016 Cutie King — Gidieon Cook, 5, son of Kerri Cook of Warsaw.
Each finalist received a trophy to commemorate their accomplishments while the winners also were given scholarship money that will come to maturity when they turn 19 years old.
Congratulations to all the contestants, finalists and especially the 2016 North Webster Mermaid Festival Cutie King and Cutie Queen!
Also announced during the evening’s festivities were the winners from the 2016 Mermaid Festival Cutie parade, held Wednesday, June 22. There were three categories of entries: walking, hand drawn and motorized.
Walking — Jace Stewart II, first place; Lincoln Granger, second place; Andyn McClane, third place; and Carter Grady, fourth place.
Hand drawn — Jeremiah Mishler, first place; Kenlee Grady, second place; Zane Grady, third place; and Ella Stewart, fourth place.
Motorized — Devin VanLue, first place; Delaney Hare, second place; Kaleigh Corn, third place; and Brynn VanLaeken, fourth place.