On Riverfest Sunday, royalty was crowned this year, as they are every year.
But while Taylor Emberton, Kayla Pribyl and Mylissa Sauser were crowned individually throughout the broiling coronation, it is quickly beginning to seem that one of the main reasons they were crowned is for their teamwork.
“They [the judging committee] look for the three girls that would be able to work as a team together and represent Monticello,” said Pribyl.
Throughout the judging process, the new trio separated themselves not only because of their individual talents, but also because of that ability to work together.
On judging day, likely the candidates’ most important day of the process, where they are paraded in front of the judges, give speeches, and answer questions, Sauser had a bit of a breakdown.
But by her side were none other than Emberton and Pribyl, rushing her to the bathroom to help calm her down, fix her make up, and get her ready to apparently ace her judging day.
“Taylor and Kayla are spitfires,” said Sauser. “They won’t let anything go wrong. I know they’ll always have my back.”
The energy meshes perfectly with a more laid-back Sauser, who is commended by her fellow royalty for many things, including being relaxed and a good listener.
“Mylissa shows good leaderships,” said Pribyl. “It fits her being the queen.”
Now, all three of them have good attitudes in their own right. In regard to confidence of being crowned, they say that wasn’t always the case. With 14 girls up for queen, each of the girls admits moments of self-doubt, especially on the day of reckoning.
“Walking up for coronation, Mylissa and I were like ‘yay, candidacy was so fun, we can’t believe it’s over,’” said Emberton. “Turns out it wasn’t at all.”
That it wasn’t. Through the drawn-out days of candidacy, through events such as Big Lake Spudfest and judging day, through a group of 14 good friends, through it all, these three stood out to the judges. Now they’ve earned a chance that each of them has dreamed about for years.
Already, they’re enjoying the process together.
Unofficially, they’ve already been busy. There have been shopping trips and sleepovers. They are already overflowing with inside jokes. And they’ve been building excitement for the official start of their activities.
Technically, that came on Saturday, at the Movie in the Park at Pioneer Park. For 20 minutes they got to wear their crowns, interact with the public, and crown little girls with glowsticks. It seemed to be everything they dreamed of.
“It’s how many little kids look up to us,” said Emberton, of the early highlight of being a princess. “The fact that we went from being average to such a role model to these little kids the second we put that crown on.”
Unfortunately, the royalty’s interaction with all of the youth was cut short Saturday. Just 20 minutes in, the event was rained out, and the girls were sent home, still waiting for their first full event.
But instead of a bad omen, it might be more proper to look at the rainout as a reprieve. The girls will have plenty to keep them busy. Just this week they have four activities planned, including a TDS open house on Saturday, and the Wright County Fair Sunday, where they’ll get their first chance to interact with royalty from other towns – another one of the aspects of being royalty that they are most excited for.
“I’m excited for the other events,” said Pribyl. “It will be amazing to make new friends from other places.”
But for now, the three of them will continue to operate as their own tight-knit unit of good friends. Saturday, Taylor showed up with hair straight, when she needed it curled. It was no concern, as they quickly headed to Mylissa’s house and calmly took care of the issue.
It’s a small example, but an important microcosm of their ability to work together, an incredibly important trait that is needed to represent Monticello in the best way possible.
As they hit the ground running this week, they are focused on all of the ways they can project the best image of Monticello. Teamwork is one. Confidence is another.
“I want to show that anyone can really does this,” said Sauser. “It’s honestly what is on the inside that counts. That you have to get to know people, and you can understand why they were chosen and stuff.”
She speaks from a place of understanding. The girls, going through the process together, have quickly learned to appreciate one other for their different abilities and take advantage of opportunities to mesh those talents into one sparkling package.
Just over two weeks ago, they were crowned individually. Now, they are ready to sparkle together.