Wednesday evening was a Midsummer Night’s Dream as 16-year-old Alliyah Yerington was crowned the 2021 Miss Lassen County with her court, Ambassadress of Susanville EmmaLee Rostlisberger and Princess Georgia Bennett.
Throughout the evening, 10 local girls showed off their community service efforts, public speaking skills and talents to the panel of judges and the audience full of family and friends who were not discouraged by the smoky air or the lack of power. In addition to the 2021 court, the contestants included Taylor Somerville, Katelyn Ernaga, Isabel Norwood, Katelyn Sanchez, Jordan Smith, Chloe Dodge and Jodi Chandler.
Along with the title, Yerington received a $1,000 scholarship, donated by Haven Studio Salon, Lassen Federal Credit Union and Susanville Auto Center. She is the daughter of Tasia Harrison and Dan Yerington. Her sponsors are All Seasons Heating and Air and Sierra Desert Properties.
Ambassadress Rotlisberger won a $400 scholarship and Princess Bennett received a $300 scholarship.
In addition to the court titles, several other awards were presented as well. Most photogenic, with a $100 cash award donated by Julie Kirack and Town & Country Real Estate, went to Rotlisberger. The $100 cash award for Miss Congeniality donated by Change Takes Place, went to Bennett, and the $100 cash award for Most Talented went to Rotlisberger.
Miss Lassen County Yerington also earned the Community Service award, which comes with a $100 cash award, donated by Guess Plumbing.
Gifts were presented to all contestants by The Look, Sierra Tan, Pizza Factory, Sierra Theater and Uptown Cinema, Joe’s and Guess Plumbing.
The contestants were judged on 15 percent community service, 15 percent scholastic achievement, 15 percent communication skills, 20 percent talent, 20 percent personality interview and 15 percent impromptu question and poise.
Contestants met with the judges, all from out of the area, earlier in the day and 50 percent of the scores were tabulated even before the ceremony began.
However, during the competition Wednesday night, each of the 10 contestants showed off their communicative skills, answered impromptu questions and showed off their talents.
For their talents, Yerington gave a speech on perseverance, complete with a surprise wardrobe change that showed, through perseverance, she’s capable of anything — even overcoming a cerebral palsy diagnosis and walking. Norwood showed off her dancing talents, Dodge performed the prologue to Beauty and the Beast on the piano, Chandler told the story “How Raven Released the Sun,” and Somerville performed the song “You Say,” by Lauren Daigle, in American Sign Language.
Rotlisberger danced to “Rise Up,” by Andra Day, honoring the resiliency of the community, Sanchez showed off her moves to a song by Ariana Grande and Smith brought the pitching mound to the stage, showing off her athletic talents. Ernaga gave a moving speech about her grandfather, Frank Ernaga, and his impact on her, and Bennett rounded out the talent portion, dancing to Noah Kahan’s “False Confidence.”