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Miss Apple Festival to compete in Miss Michigan USA

Published 5:27pm Wednesday, August 21, 2013

At five feet tall and 17 years old, Niles High School senior Miranda Bailey is both the youngest and shortest contestant in this year’s Miss Michigan USA pageant.

But when Bailey takes the stage in Port Huron, Mich. this September, she said she refuses to let her height and age intimidate her.

In September 2012, Bailey was crowned Miss Apple Festival, a preliminary pageant to Miss Michigan USA. Bailey was also Junior Miss Apple Festival in 2010.

Previously, Bailey has participated in multiple other pageants including Miss Cass St. Joseph Outstanding Teen, where she placed as second runner-up in 2008 and Miss Stateline Outstanding Teen, both preliminary pageants to the Miss Michigan America pageant.

“I like pageants because I get to meet so many new people,” said Bailey. “In this pageant, there are at least 60 girls that I’m going up against. The most I’ve gone against is 16 other girls at Miss Apple Festival.”

Bailey said although practice for the Miss Michigan USA pageant does not begin until the same day as the interview portion and preliminary pageant, she has been preparing for quite some time.

On top of hiring a pageant coach, Bailey said that she and her parents have been very committed to living a healthy lifestyle.

“I’ve spent every single day in the gym for at least two hours,” said Bailey. “Both of my parents and I started two years ago. We get up at 4:30 in the morning and work out before I go to school and they go to work.”

Regardless of her extreme dedication to fitness, Bailey said she is most nervous about the swimsuit portion of the pageant.

“It’s just very intimating being in a swimsuit in front of all those people,” she said.

The Miss Michigan pageant consists of four sections: the interview segment, which takes place before the pageant; the opening number; a swimsuit portion and an evening gown portion.

Bailey said she doesn’t know how to describe her gown, other than the fact that it’s very different and black.

“Because I am the youngest contestant in the pageant, I had to go with a more adult dress than I would normally wear,” she said.

And to combat her height, Bailey said she intends to wear four-inch heels.

“The other girls tower over me!” she said light-heartedly. “I have to.”

At the end of the two-night pageant, the new Miss Michigan USA will win a plethora of prizes, including scholarships, a crown and a chance to compete in the Miss USA pageant.

The Miss Michigan pageant will begin at 8 p.m. Sept. 13 at the McMorran Entertainment Center in Port Huron, Mich. and continue through Sept. 14.

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