Centerville High School senior Eryn Forrest could soon be vying for the title of Miss Texas after being crowned Miss Lufkin during the Pageants of East Texas competition at Naranjo Auditorium on the Pineywoods Community Academy campus Saturday evening.
Teen Miss Lufkin winner Grace Carter and Forrest will both qualify to move on to the Teen Miss Texas and Miss Texas pageants if they decide to go forward.
“It is definitely nerve-wracking,” Forrest said during the waiting time between the interviews and talent sections and then the results. “I’ve actually been doing pageants since I was six months old. I took a little break for awhile to focus on school, because I’m going to go to college soon, but I’m back now.”
After graduating in May, Forrest is planning on going to Blinn to begin her psychology degree in the fall. Forrest said her favorite part of each pageant is always “the interview. I always think it’s fun to give the judges a little intake on who you are as a person.”
The pageant began Saturday morning with the crowning of Little Mr. Lufkin, Toddler Miss, Tiny Miss and Mini Miss. The older group — which included Little Miss, Petite Miss, Junior Miss, Teen Miss and Miss Lufkin — was crowned Saturday evening.
Pageant organizer Kathryn Hensley won Little Miss Lufkin in 1989. Upon moving back to the East Texas area in 2008, she began to bring pageantry back to Lufkin. She now directs eight pageants as the Pageants of East Texas director.
“Lufkin holds a special place in my heart,” Hensley said.
Adeline Spell, 5, won Most Photogenic in the Little Miss category.
“When the pageant is over, I’m gonna dance. I’m gonna dance to ‘Pathway in Heaven,’” Spell said.
When asked about her history in pageants, she said, “I’ve been to lots of them,” but her favorite part of Saturday’s pageant was “getting to twirl around.”