Miss Elk Rapids Pageant returns after two years

After a two-year hiatus, the Miss Elk Rapids Pageant returned Saturday night.

Miss Elk Rapids 2022 Queen Tessa Nico and 2020 Queen Emma McGuire

Emma McGuire has been the reigning queen since the last scholarship program in 2020.

Tonight, she finally passed on the crown.

“It just means the world, like you can’t top it,” McGuire said. “There’s nothing there that I would trade for that experience.”

She said that with normal events like parades on hold, they found ways to be creative during the pandemic.

“We’ve done things like cookie drives for nurses, a food drive, planted a tree for Earth Day — so the program is definitely rooted in community service and loves to go beyond that,” said McGuire.

Miss Elk Rapids receives a $4,000 scholarship – while runner-up receives $800 – and each of the young queens receives $100.

“So it paid for almost an entire semester of my school, which is a huge blessing with everything costing these days,” McGuire said.

Rachel Bunner was crowned queen in 1988.

She has since returned to help with the program and, like many in the community, continues to contribute to the scholarship fund.

“For a community of this size to be able to offer the Queen this substantial amount – it’s really amazing and I think it really shows what the community is really looking to invest in young women – to be able to go far into the future,” Bunner said.

She appreciates that this small town contest promotes an opportunity for higher education.

“Sometimes when you’re from a small town, sports scholarships might not be as substantial as other scholarship opportunities, so this kind of fills that gap, specifically allowing young women in that area, this great opportunity to get such a big scholarship,” Bunner said.

With the continued support of the community—the the amount of the scholarship keeps growing every year.

Tessa Nico has been named Miss Elk Rapids 2022.

For more information, you can go to the program Facebook page.

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