Little Mr. and Little Miss Escalon candidates included a group of youngsters from ages five- to seven-years-old. This year, contestants were Jocelyn Avilla, Kalee Bailey-Donis, Sophia Bella Barboza, Frank Borba, Emily Govia, Zaniah Griffin, Caleb Kay, Maddix Leal, Daisy Lozano, Sophia Lozano, Ivan Mendez, Ivan Plascencia, Josue Plascencia, Jocelynne Sisk, Max Villanueva, and Kirsten Yater.
The candidates all answered two questions and did a dance number as part of the competition, which was hosted Thursday evening, July 13 at the Escalon Community Center.
They were asked “Why do you want to be Little Miss/Mr. Escalon?” and answers included everything from the likes of “I want to treat my people good” to “Have fun and make new friends.” After their dance number, they were then asked a series of more personalized questions like “What’s your favorite type of candy?” and “If you could be any superhero, who would you be?” The crowd all awww’d when Ivan Plascencia answered the question “Who is your best friend and why?” with “My parents, because they’re always there for me.”
The Miss Escalon court had met with the contestants for four practices prior to the Thursday night competition and helped them with answering questions, learning to speak into a microphone, and taught them the dance number to the song “It’s a Small World.” The night of the program, the Miss Escalon court stood next to the stage and behind the audience to dance along with the boys and girls.
While judges conferred, Young Manteca Ambassador Dylan Owens performed “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and “Under the Sea.” Kids also did the Hokey-Pokey until judges made their decision.
At the end of the evening, the reigning Little Miss and Mr., Gianna Wilson and Lucas Trejo, “passed on the crown” to Little Miss Escalon 2017 Daisy Lozano and Little Mr. Escalon 2017 Max Villanueva.
Lexi Bavaro and Shannon Montgomery spent their first year coordinating Little Mr. and Miss Escalon and pulled it off well. Bavaro described it as “a good learning experience” and commented that they’re looking forward to “seeing what we can do with the program.”
The theme for the little ones this year was “It’s a Small World.”