MUSKEGON -- About 300 people gathered Wednesday to watch the first round of preliminary competition in the 2010 Miss Michigan Scholarship and Miss Michigan Outstanding Teen pageants, which took place at the Frauenthal Theater.
Miss Capital City, Katie LaRoche, took the $500 preliminary talent award for a modern contemporary dance performance.
Wednesday's preliminary Kirsten Haglund Swimsuit Award, worth $250, went to Miss River Raisen Festival, Erinn Hendricks. Miss Tip of the Mitt, Kelly Oles, won the preliminary evening wear competition, worth $250 in scholarship money.
Tara Althaus won the Outstanding Teen talent award with a musical theater vocal performance, earning her a $200 educational savings bond.
This year's contest features 30 Miss Michigan and 22 Outstanding Teen contestants from across the state. They perform in four phases of on-stage competition and one off-stage component -- the personal interview -- that takes place only with the judges.
For the preliminaries, the Miss contestants are divided into two groups, with half competing in talent and on-stage question and the other half in evening gown and swimsuit. Tonight, they'll switch categories and a new batch of preliminary winners will be announced as the pageant continues at the Frauenthal Theater.
The final winner in each category -- and Miss Michigan herself -- will be announced Saturday night. Miss Michigan will go on to compete in the Miss America Pageant in January in Las Vegas. The teen winner will be announced during Friday' finals.
The Miss contestants are competing for educational scholarships and the job of Miss Michigan, plus a wardrobe allowance, car and other perks. For example, Baker College offers free tuition at any of its campuses, which it values at approximately $45,000.
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