NEW ALBANY —
It’s been 17 years since the reigning Miss Harvest Homecoming won the Miss Indiana crown.
Rebecca Davis hopes to end that drought Saturday night.
Davis, the 2012 Miss Harvest Homecoming, is one of 32 contestants who will compete Saturday night at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center for the Miss Indiana title. Events for both Miss Indiana and Miss Teen contestants began Wednesday, but the final is at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“This is my second time, so I know how awesome this event is,” said Davis, 24, who is a teacher at Lanesville. “It’s like Christmas in July.”
Davis is not the only local competitor. Kylie Wheeler, 15, a sophomore at Floyd Central High School, will compete in the Miss Indiana Teen Pageant. She is the reigning Miss Harvest Homecoming Outstanding Teen, and like Davis, she is excited about the upcoming state pageant.
“I feel pretty good about it,” Davis said of her chances. “I will just go up there and be myself. That is all you can ask for. I have been preparing for this for months.”
Davis, who will play piano as her talent, also feels good about her chances. She said she has prepared by keeping up with current events, working out and is ready to discuss her platform, which is literacy.
“I think I have worked on all the skills it takes to be Miss Indiana,” she said. “I went through a final dress rehearsal and made sure everything was good.”
Davis said she has received an outpouring of support from the Harvest Homecoming Committee, and said being the festival’s queen last October was a great way to prepare for the Miss Indiana Pageant.
“As Miss Indiana you have to go to so many events. As Miss Harvest Homecoming we are at a different event every 45 minutes,” she said. “Being involved in the community as Miss Harvest Homecoming is part of being Miss Indiana.”
Wheeler also praised the Harvest Homecoming committee.
“They have been amazing. I have met so many people there who have supported me,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler will perform a Jazz dance as her talent.
Davis, a graduate of Clarksville High School and Indiana University Southeast, said she plans on joining her family in Cancun in a few weeks, unless she takes home the title Saturday night.
“I am really looking forward to this,” she said.
Wheeler said she hopes to continue competing in pageants after the Miss Teen competition. She said her first pageant was the National American Miss event where she learned how to interview and walk on stage.
“All that experience has led up to this moment,” Wheeler said. “I am really excited going into this.”