Physical appearance has long been a recurring theme in any beauty pageant. But in 2018, California Mid-State Fair (CMSF) in Paso Robles has refocused its program to place greater emphasis on an imperishable beauty cultivated through education.
What originated in 1969 as the Maid of San Luis Obispo County has just received a subtle, yet distinct update. Newly renamed as the Miss California Mid-State Fair Scholarship Pageant, the “scholarship” aspect will emphasize the Fair’s mission of empowering young women, ages 17 to 24, toward achievement of their academic goals. The contest takes place every year the evening before the Fair and will begin at 6:30 p.m. on the Frontier Stage.

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Pageant contestants. Photo courtesy CMSF

Nine contestants from throughout San Luis Obispo County will compete this year for the Queen title. They are Lorin Tapp (18) of San Luis Obispo, Alexa Pinter (18) San Luis Obispo, Sophia Riddering (19) of Morro Bay, Kimberly White (18) of Oceano, Jamie-
Lynn Stapf (21) of San Luis Obispo, Codie Whilhusen (19) of San Miguel, Brooke Lynn (20) of Atascadero, Ashley Davis (20) of
Paso Robles, and Yvette Fiorentino (18) of San Luis Obispo.
Contestants are evaluated in five categories, including Interview, Community Outreach Platform, Health and Fitness, Evening Gown, and Talent. Fifty percent of their points earned is based upon participation, with Interview weighted most of the five categories, or 25 percent of the total score.
“Since 2002, the winners have always received scholarship money. The Queen receives $500, the first runner up receives $300,
and second runner up receives $200,” said Director Patti Lucas of the prize money allotted at the end of their reign. “All my sponsors are very special and have participated for several years. This year, we’ve planned to give more scholarship money along with some of the categories.”
Sponsors for 2018 include Cattaneo Brothers, Boot Barn, Kaliforna Tanz, Bahama Bay Tanning Salon, The Wearhouse, Body Glove, Oak and Barrel Photography, Yogurt-A-Fair, Pink Champagne Celebrations, Albertson’s and Alice Bertram.
Previous winners have also returned to help with the pageant in various ways in practical help and through sponsorship, said Patti.
To name a few, Katlyn Kaney (2002), who entered her competition on a dare by friends and family, is now CEO of Cattaneo Brothers. Destini Cavaletto (2004) now General Manager of Santa Margarita Ranch, will serve as a judge this year. Savannah Hoagland Romero (2012), currently the Wine Club Manager at La Vigne Winery, serves as one of Patti’s
assistants. Riley Shannon (2015) is helping contestants with interview skills this year.
“We have had some women that competed in the California Mid-State Fair Pageant also compete in in other systems,” said Courtney Lucas, Auditor for the pageant, who assists her mother, Patti, throughout the pageant season. “Tommy Lynn Calhoun, who was our Queen in 2010, competed for Miss California USA, as well as Miss Arizona USA.” Calhoun was crowned Miss Arizona USA
in 2017.
“If anyone would like to be a contestant, they only need to fill out an application and turn it in by the due date, usually in April,” said Courtney. “It’s a fun event, and it really does involve a sisterhood who supports one another.”

Admission and parking are free.
For more information, call
California Mid-State Fair
Pageant Coordinator
Patti Lucas at 805-239-0555
or visit midstatefair.com.