2016 Pageant: Day 1

By Wrangler Network contributor Miss Rodeo America

Miss Rodeo Texas in her award-winning, custom modified Wrangler jeans.

Miss Rodeo Texas in her award-winning, custom modified Wrangler jeans.

On Sunday, 33 state rodeo queens arrived to the MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel and Casino for the official 2016 pageant check-in. The young women toted bags and suitcases packed full of vital pageant materials, to include a modified pair of Wrangler jeans for a special competition later in the day.

During check-in, Miss Rodeo America 2015, Lauren Heaton, personally pinned the contestants’ banners to them. This event was not open to the public but was rather an intimate and memorable occasion for both Lauren and her nearly three dozen potential successors.

Around 9:30 a.m., the contestants jumped into the first round of Q & A with a panel of judges. They were asked about current world events, to include details of the recent Paris tragedy, medical marijuana, and the appropriateness of school uniforms. Contestants were judged not only by their knowledge and understanding of the topics, but also the eloquence with which they responded.

Following lunch with their families, the queens moved themselves (and their hefty pageant luggage) into their hotel rooms at the MGM Grand. Contestants share a room with one other girl for the entirety of pageant.

After getting settled, the girls headed to the “get acquainted party”, during which they had the opportunity to socialize with each other and their families. It takes very special family members and friends to support the spirit and dedication of a rodeo queen, a commonality that likely contributed to the friendly, upbeat tone of the gathering.

The party was halted mid-afternoon by the next event, a showcase of the ladies’ creativity and fashion sense. Earlier this year, each state rodeo queen received a sponsored pair of Wranglers and were challenged to make the jean their own using whatever means and material they could imagine. The 33 unique, individually modified Wranglers were modeled one by one by their creators. Judges agreed that Miss Rodeo Texas had the most innovative, widely-marketable design (check out that fringe!).

The girls then headed off to rehearsal until late hours of the evening. They retired to bed after a well-spent and exciting first day as competitors for the crown and prestige of MRA 2016.

Don’t forget to check social media for frequent updates about the pageant, and sign up to follow this blog by email for important MRA updates all year long!