Leilani Tatiana Drake of Selma was named Little Miss Central Alabama Fair Saturday. -- Sarah Cook

Little beauties impress fair judges

Published 9:54pm Saturday, October 6, 2012

Forty-nine bright-eyed girls wearing ribbons and bows graced the stage of the Central Alabama Fair pavilion Saturday for the Tiny Miss and Little Miss Central Alabama Fair pageants.

After walking across the stage and impressing the judges with her bright smile and pale pink laced dress, Isabella Diane Wyatt was crowned winner of the Tiny Miss Central Alabama Fair Pageant, which had 24 participants all between the ages of three and four.

Isabella is from Plantersville and loves the color pink and playing with her potbelly pig Lucy.

“I was in [the pageant] when I was a little girl and my aunt was in it too,” said Isabella’s mother, Kristi Wyatt.

Wyatt said Isabella was hesitant to participate in the pageant at first, but warmed up to the idea once she found out she could wear a pretty dress and maybe get a crown.

“Once I told her that, she said ‘I’m in,’” Wyatt said with a smile.

She added, “Izzy isn’t a ‘girly girl.’ She doesn’t like bows. She said she wouldn’t be in it if she had to wear a bow, so we just brushed her hair and let it down.”

Other than playing with her pig Lucy, Isabella enjoys doing gymnastics and playing with her big brother, Jackson.

“She’s real bubbly,” added her grandmother, Sandy Nichols. “She can get out and play ball or she can play dress up.”

After the “tiny misses” left the stage, 25 “little misses” entered the pavilion for the Little Miss Central Alabama Fair Pageant.

All of the participants shined with their hair in curls and wearing their pastel dresses, but it was Leilani Tatiana Drake of Selma that especially won over the hearts of the judges and took home the crown.

“I couldn’t believe it, honestly,” said Leilani’s mother Heather Drake after her daughter was announced winner.

Leilani is no stranger to pageants, however. She was named Tiny Miss Central Alabama Fair Pageant winner two years ago. Her younger sister, Felicity, was also named first runner up in the Tiny Miss Pageant Saturday.

“We’re just going to do whatever they want to do tonight to celebrate,” Drake said.

Leilani is 6-years-old and attends Cedar Park Elementary. She enjoys singing, dancing and “is very artistic,” her mother said.

Aside from putting on their best dresses and smiling for their families and friends, all Tiny Miss and Little Miss participants received goodie bags and a trophy for being in the pageant.

“I think it went wonderful,” said Melissa Vardaman, associate director of the pageant. “All the girls, they all just had a great time. They all left feeling like a winner.”

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