Seven central San Joaquin Valley women will compete in categories of education, talent, service and leadership as they try to win the Miss California crown this week in Fresno.
The pageant winner will go on to compete for the Miss America title.
The Saroyan Theatre will be filled with 52 young women singing, dancing and presenting their platforms during the five-day competition that runs Tuesday and concludes Saturday night.
The following are the Miss California contestants with Valley ties:
Miss Central Valley, Blaire Bostwick
The Visalia native, 19, currently attends College of the Sequoias. Bostwick will use her voice to impress the judges in the talent competition. Her platform is a heart for service. She has performed at Disneyland, founded a special needs dance group and loves roller coasters.
Miss Clovis, Morgan Edwards
Edwards, 21, attends Fresno State. She will compete in the pageant with an emphasis on Big Brothers Big Sisters and will perform a lyrical dance. Edwards placed in the top 10 at the 2012 Miss California Pageant. "It's been a metamorphosis of myself, and I've grown into a better woman..." she said in an introductory pageant video.
Edwards says she is good at dodge ball and is a proud big sister.
Miss Fresno County, Denise Barnes
Barnes, 21, is from Delano. She attends Fresno State, and is part of the mock trial team that competes against collegiate squads across the U.S. Her platform is S.O.S.: Support our Soldiers. Barnes writes poetry and recites her poems live at events. She will perform an original monologue for the judges in the competition. She also enjoys cooking and used to run track.
Miss Kings County, Mackenzie Dias
The 18-year-old Dias lives in Hanford and attends Hanford High School. She enjoys outdoor activities like shooting clay pigeons with her dad and snowboarding at China Peak. Dias' platform is mentoring leadership classes, and she plans to play piano in the talent competition.
Miss Tulare County, Tara Broderick
Broderick, 18, lives in Visalia and attends College of the Sequoias. She will aim to impress the judges on her toes while dancing ballet. Consistent with her anti-bullying platform, Broderick authored a children's book on the topic. Broderick attends church every Sunday and would like to see discussion of God put back in schools.
Miss Merced County, Danielle Diele
Diele lives in Merced and attends Golden Valley High School. Though the 17-year-old was born on Friday the 13th, she says she's been lucky in life. Diele will present a monologue and compete on the platform of agriculture awareness. She volunteered for the 2012 Jack Mobley for State Assembly campaign.
Miss Gavilan Hills, Caelin Nieto
Though Nieto is representing a region in Southern California, the 19-year-old is originally from Merced. She attends California State University, Chico, where she is one of 12 women studying engineering. Nieto is no newcomer to pageants. She coordinated the first Mr. Merced male pageant that raised money for a local breast cancer research center. Her focus is breast health advocacy. She will sing during the talent competition.
If you go
Pageant tickets can be purchased at the Fresno Convention Center box office, 700 M St., or by calling Ticketmaster at (559) 485-8497.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6679 or firstname.lastname@example.org.