HURON — On June 3-5, 15 ambitious, talented, intelligent and motivated young women will take to the stage at the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center, on the campus of South Dakota State University, to compete in the 74th Miss South Dakota Competition.
For all of them, the opening production number will mark the culmination of a what has become a nearly two-year wait to compete for the sash, crown and extensive scholarship that will leave with this year’s winner.
The 15 candidates all won local titles between June of 2019 and January of 2020, before the COVID-19 virus derailed the 2020 competition.
Ending her reign as the longest-serving Miss South Dakota is Amber Hulse, who was crowned two years ago and has carried the mantle throughout the pandemic. The schedule calls for preliminary competition for Miss South Dakota on Thursday, June 3 and Friday, June 4 at 6 p.m. each night. The Miss South Dakota Outstanding Teen competition will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, with the finals of Miss South Dakota at 6 p.m. that night.
Seating is limited due to social distancing requirements, although Saturday night’s final will be live streamed.
For more information on getting your livestream ticket, go to misssd.org.
Among the candidates who has been working on her talent and social impact to prepare for this year’s state pageant is Megan Clark of Huron. Clark was crowned Miss Christmas in the Hills in early January of 2020 in Hot Springs.
“I am a 19-year-old young woman from Huron,” Clark said recently via email. “My parents are Matt and Darcy Clark and I have two sisters; Jaycee Clark and Shelby Kannagieter, and a brother-in-law, AJ Kannagieter.”
Clark has previous experience on the stage, as she formerly competed in the Miss South Dakota sister program, Miss South Dakota’s Outstanding Teen. She will offer a vocal solo for her talent and her social impact statement is “IVC for ECK!”
“IVC for ECK stands for In Vitro Fertilization for Elizabeth/Caleb Kannagieter,” Megan said. “IVF is for people who are not able to conceive a child through normal efforts, like other people. “It’s important to me, because my older sister and her husband have attempted it and IVF costs so much money in South Dakota, because insurance does not cover it. In other states, insurance covers the cost of IVR and here, the cost of IVF can be $26,000.”
Clark said she chose her social impact cause because she wants to be able to help the couples who are planning on using IVF to pay for it or get insurance to cover it.
Her plans are to attend the Huron Community Campus online in the fall, with the ultimate goal of becoming an elementary teacher. “I began to compete in pageants with the encouragement of Callee Wachter, Miss S.D. 2006, and Cameron Schroeder, who was Miss South Dakota’s Outstanding Teen in 2015.
Her immediate plans call for college, but she could be flexible if her name is called June 5 as the 74th Miss South Dakota. “Oh, that would be so amazing!” she said.
Other Miss S.D. candidates include Breanna Bossman, Miss Rapid City; Baylee Dittman, Miss Central States Fair; Maleah Eschenbaum, Miss Railroad Junction; Carly Goodheart, Miss Brookings; Sylvie Larson, Miss SDSU; Calli Mah, Miss Hot Springs; Kaitlin O’Neill, Miss Dakota Plains; Miranda O’Bryan, Miss Rolling Plains; Courtney Remick, Miss Siouxland; Breanna Remington, Miss Fall River Balloon Festival; Emma Salzwedel, Miss USD; Margaret Samp, Miss Rushmore; Hunter Widvey, Miss Missouri Valley and Annie Woodmansey, Miss State Fair.