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Thoroman, Young reign at Girard Festival Days pageant

An Elvis impersonator was one part of the entertainment offered at this years’ Girard Festival Days. Enquirer~Democrat photo by Jackson Wilson.


Joseph Reinhart recognized as ‘Teen Citizen of the Year’

An imaginary ‘Vacation Destination’ plane tour of the United States concluded in Girard, where Olivia Thoroman and Remi Young were crowned as the 2022 queens of the Festival Days July 31.

Thoroman took home title of ‘Miss Girard’ over Tristan Rutan, Camerin Leonard and Hanna Wonaroksi. Young was named ‘Little Miss’ over Peyton Cox, Taylor Cox, Temperance Burnett, Kambrie Ulinski and Lauren York.

Thoroman is the 17-year-old daughter of Rick and Mindy Thoroman. She will be a senior at North Mac High School this fall. Thoroman is active in Science Club, Key Club, FFA, Student Council, National Honors’ Society, cross country, basketball and track. Thoroman was sponsored by Doc’s Off 66.

“This feels so great, especially since I’ve been in this my entire life,” Thoroman said. “I look forward to going to all of the pageants, wearing all the pretty dresses and representing my town while being a role model for others.”

Throughout her upcoming reign, Thoroman would like to see more individuals getting involved within the community as well as have a larger number of contestants run for her title of ‘Miss Girard’ in 2023.

“That’s what I love the most about a small town,” Thoroman said. “We all really come together as a community.”

R. Young is the four-year old daughter of Katie Young. She will be attending Pre-K in the fall. Her favorite vacation destination is Chicago. She wants to be a ballerina when she grows up because she loves to dance. Her best friend is her mother. If Young could go anywhere on vacation, she would choose the beach because she likes to play in the sand and gaze at the ocean. Her favorite colors are blue, pink and purple. She is most thankful for her family.

“She is the cutest little thing,” Thoroman said of Young. “She spoke so well tonight.”

Wonaroksi was this year’s ‘Miss Congeniality.’ Leonard received first runner-up.

Cox (first) and Burnett (second) were ‘Little Miss’ runner-ups.

Throughout the ‘Miss Girard’ portion of the program, the audience was treated to a unique collage of themes that included a rendition of ‘Surfin’ U.S.A’ on a trip to Florida, an empire state of mind in New York, some Dixieland Delight in Tennessee, California girls, Hawai’ian sunshine, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, a rowdy square dancing competition down in Georgia, a flashy show put on by a spoof Elvis Presley in Las Vegas and kicks on Route 66.

‘Miss Girard’ contestants were judged based on swimsuit, gown, on-stage question/answer and dress.

‘Little Miss’ princesses did live interviews with 2021 Miss Girard Sophia McWard and danced to ‘On the Road Again.’

Such moments are what an emotional McWard treasured the most from the past year.

“I enjoyed being a role model for the little kids as well as a role model for this town,” McWard said.

McWard said that the most memorable moment of the reign involved her car failing to start five minutes before the start of the Carlinville Halloween parade. “I had to walk, which was super embarrassing at the time,” McWard said. “But, now that I look back on things, I am super glad that I did it.”

As McWard retired her crown, she advised the next Miss Girard to enjoy the experience and not take it for granted. “It only lasts a year so do as much as you can,” McWard said.

“Sophia made a big impact for me and really helped me in getting to win this,” Thoroman said of McWard.

As she walked the stage for the final time as Little Miss Girard, Brielle Barnes read a farewell message to the crowd with the help of her father, Tyler Barnes.

“When I won Little Miss [in 2021], I was very surprised,” B. Barnes said. “I never expected to win. My favorite part of being Little Miss was wearing all of the pretty dresses and going to pageants. I would like to thank the judges for their vote. I also would like to thank the committee members for all their hard work in putting the pageant together, my Daddy for buying all my dresses, my Mommy for making sure I made it to everything, my Nana and Aunt for making me feel extra beautiful in doing my makeup and hair. I love you all so much. I had a great year representing Girard and I hope the next Little Miss [Young] has so much fun. I am and forever will be your 2021 Little Miss Girard.”

Teen Citizen of the Year

This year’s Teen Citizen of the Year, who was recognized on-stage following the Little Miss pageant, was quoted as being “a young man who works hard in everything he does.” The recipient was 17-year-old Joseph Reinhart, an incoming senior at North Mac High School.

In addition to working for the Girard Fire and Rescue Department as a junior firefighter, Reinhart ranks third in his class academically and is a member of the National Honor Society. He participates in multiple school clubs, including Student Council, FFA and Student Council. He is also a tri-athlete that plays baseball, football and runs track. His future plans include going to college for engineering and, during that time, being part of ROTC with plans at the United States’ military after graduating from university.

“I want to say thank you to my parents, the fire department and lastly the community,” Reinhart said. “I couldn’t do without them.”