In July, 73 contestants gathered at the Higley Center for the Performing Arts to take part in the 2021 Miss Arizona USA® and Miss Arizona Teen USA® Pageant Weekend.
As Britt Powell, president of Casting Crowns Productions, Inc. and executive director of Miss Arizona USA/Miss Arizona Teen USA shares, the contestants competed in three equally scored areas of competition: Active Wear for the 21 Teen contestants and Swimsuit for the 52 Miss contestants, Evening Gown, and Personal Interview.
Cassidy Jo Jacks, Miss Usery Mountain USA, was crowned Miss Arizona USA 2021, and McKenzi Lindhag, Miss Peoria Teen USA, won the Miss Arizona Teen USA 2021 competition.
Purvi Sehgal, Miss Chandler Teen USA, was awarded Special Achievement in Interview.
While the dates of the pageants were moved from January to July due to COVID-19, Powell says all restrictions had been lifted prior to the event, so they were able to safely conduct the pageant as usual.
In addition to holding the pageants at a new venue and at a different time of year, Powell says an unexpected guest made the competitions extra challenging.
“Mother Nature threw us a massive curveball in the shape of the most severe monsoon the Valley has seen in years,” she says, adding that because the contestants’ dressing rooms were in a separate building from the venue, everyone had to improvise.
“My staff, volunteers, and the Higley Center staff sprang to action, and with no regard to their own comfort, improvised and found a way to safely and dryly move each of the 73 contestants from one building to another through the storm.”