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July 4 Firecracker pageant taking sign-ups now

Sunnyside High School senior Joscelyn Martinez is planning ahead for her final year of high school by organizing a Miss Firecracker Pageant during July 4 festivities in Sunnyside.

The pageant will serve as Martinez's senior project.

Girls ages birth to 19 are invited to enter the pageant, which has a registration deadline of this coming Friday, June 18.

Martinez has participated in three pageants, including a second runner-up finish at the Miss Yakima County competition.

"I thought it would be a wonderful experience to have a small pageant, fun for the little girls," she said.

Her mentor for the project is Teri Alvarez-Ziegler, chaperone for the Miss Sunnyside Court.

All participants will receive a crown and sash and there will be a queen named in each division: Baby Miss, Tiny Miss, Mini Miss, Little Miss, Young Miss, Junior Miss and Teen Miss.

The pageant will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 4, at Clem Senn Field prior to the city of Sunnyside's fireworks display.

However, participants are asked to arrive at 5:30 p.m. for a brief rehearsal, directions and a walk through.

The pageant is being held in partnership with the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, which has registration forms. The forms are also available at the Daily Sun News office.

Martinez' pageant isn't just about organizing a good time or completing a senior project, as three canned or non-perishable food items are required per entry. Those in the audience are requested to provide one canned or non-perishable food item. Martinez said the food will be designated for the St. Joseph Catholic Church food bank in Sunnyside.

Pageant contestants will be judged on competitions based on patriotic wear (representing the USA or red, white and blue), as well as formal wear.

Martinez says formal wear is any party dress or evening gown that could be or has been worn for a celebration such as a wedding, church event or prom.

The main idea, she says, is for the girls to have fun.

"My goal is to improve and raise self-confidence, help girls become future leaders needed for today's demanding goals and challenges," Martinez said.

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