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Barbieland comes alive at Miss Wasco Rose Queen Pageant

The 55th Annual Miss Wasco Rose Queen Pageant on Thursday was nothing but spectacular. To an almost sold out crowd, the 15 contestants gave it their all competing for the coveted title at the Barbie-themed event.

Esmeralda Rodriguez was crowned the 2023 Miss Wasco Rose Queen after contestants shined on stage and gave a brilliant performance singing, dancing, presenting their talent and showcasing their formal gowns,

"I'm so excited, happy and so honored. I look forward to all the events and being more involved in my community. I am excited to be a role model not just for the little girls but for the whole community of Wasco," she said. "The best part of winning was seeing my parents and family so proud of me; all the excitement that came with it was surreal."

"To the other contestants, they all did amazing. I can not wait to see what they will accomplish in the future. I love my Barbie girls."

The 1st runner-up was Madison Martinez, and 2nd runner-up was Addison Vasquez.

"I am ecstatic to be given this position because I love that I was chosen to be a representative of Wasco. It's a big privilege," Madison said. "What I look forward to the most is making memories with the rest of the contestants. I still believe we will have that strong bond I will cherish forever."

Addison said, "I feel very accomplished, and it's such an honor to be 2nd runner-up. In this position, I plan to be a role model and continue to inspire others."

Other recognitions were awarded. Devanie Caban received recognition in the congeniality category, Addison Vasquez in physical fitness, Amaia Marquez in talent and Esmeralda Rodriguez in the scholastic category.

For the contestants, it was a magical night.

"I enjoyed myself because it was such a wonderful night with amazing, intelligent, beautiful women," contestant Abigail Martinez said.

"I feel so proud of each of the girls because they put in so much hard work and dedication. Everyone deserves to win because they are all winners in my eyes."

Another contestant, Natalia Crane, said that the experience was fun. "I got to meet many new girls and make friends."

To encourage other girls to participate in the pageant in the future, she added, "If you are scared to do it, you should try because at the end of the day, it will always be worth it."

The community came out to support the girls, including Kacee Johnson, who previously was a contestant in 2003. She said, "They did beautifully and were all so graceful and made our town proud."

Kevin Tallon, Wasco Union High School District superintendent, shared, "This is one of the Wasco traditions. A lot of us remember coming to the pageant as kids."

Catilia Duran came to see the new queen. "She worked all summer to pay for her expenses, and seeing her win, everything paid off. I wish her luck. She's never going to change. She's super humble, and I know she will do well."

Many volunteers worked to make the event memorable for the community. One of them, Daisy Asensio, said, "I wanted to volunteer to come and support the girls and also help my cheer coaches, who are the pageant directors."

Another volunteer, Savannah Sharp, said, "I love coming to the Rose Queen pageant. I'm a freshman and look up to the girls. I wanted to be here for them to help in any way I could."

Putting on the pageant was a big undertaking, and the pageant directors worked with the girls for months. They were Sydney Bocker, Hailey Coyle, Debbie Mehlberg, Nicole Sanchez and Victoria Bernal.

"It was a full house. I felt the whole town was Barbieland," Coyle said. "We loved all the pink and support from the community. I was so proud of all the contestants. They are all amazing young ladies. I'm excited to see all the contestants represent Wasco all this year."

Contestant Ruby Macias said of the pageant directors, "I loved them. They really felt like family."

Esmeralda said, "I thank them for everything they have done for us and always being there for us, guiding us through the whole process. I couldn't have won without them."

Ultimately, it was a special night for the contestants and the community that came out to support them.

"This next year will be incredible, and I can't wait to bring love and laughter to the many beautiful people that make up our wonderful town," Esmeralda said.


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