New Reign Begins: 2023 Miss Borrego
Last updated 11/9/2023 at 2:39pm
As the music built up with tension and the lights shining on stage, the crowd waited in anticipation to hear whom of the seven contestants would be named Miss Borrego 2023 – 24 on Oct. 14, held for the first time at the Borrego Springs Performing Arts Center.
With all the calculation tabulations made by Kathy King, it was time for Master of Ceremonies Fred Jee to make the announcements.
Elena Sanchez was named Miss Congeniality, a vote made by each of the contestants. She was also awarded Second Princess. First Princess went to Jasmile Lopez.
2022 Miss Borrego Hannah Strate then passed on the reins over to Angela Fregoso, the 2023 – 24 winner.
To begin the various categories of the night, it started out with the casual wear portion as the seven contestants donned green plaid long sleeve blouses and black pants provided once again by Borrego Outfitters, while performing a three-minute dance number to the song, "Sunshine," choreographed by Corie Jaramillo, Committee Member and Stage Manager.
Individually, contestants made their way back to the stage to say what word best describes them as a person and why. Each speech given by the contestants portrayed unique messages of how the word they chosen has built them into the young woman they are today, as well as how the community and their surroundings has given them the opportunity to be a better version of themselves.
Chamber of Commerce President Clint Brandin was invited to the stage to say a few words on behalf of the Chamber, as well as words of wisdom to the contestants. Co-Honorary Mayors Jim and Anne Wermers also shared special words to those in attendance, as well as highlighted the recent accomplishments of current Miss Borrego Hannah Strate. In doing so, they mentioned that being Miss Borrego does come with the responsibility of representing Borrego Springs, and are confident that whomever is crowned will do a great job.
Brandin also brought out Sylvana Meeks, Competition Director, at a total surprise, and recognized her for all that she continues to do for the community and the young ladies competing. She was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Meeks continues to put on a wonderful evening yet again, with all her hard work and dedication to this special event, continuously supporting these young ladies.
Judges for the evening were Cara Thomas, Lori Maness and Mark Thomas, who critiqued each contestant carefully, based on personal statements, casual wear, individual speeches, formal wear, and their posture/poise.
After a brief intermission, the seven contestants were escorted back onto the stage with their respective partners and they wowed the crowd in their stunning evening gowns.
Brandin was back on stage, and presented Hannah Strate with a Certificate of Appreciation by San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond, thanking her all she has done for the town throughout her reign. Hannah Strate was also presented a certificate on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce.
Each contestant was back out on stage to answer individual questions picked from a basket, presented by Miss Borrego 2022 Hannah Strate, as well as First Princess Shantell Fuentes.
Prior to the announcement of Miss Borrego 2023, Strate shared the many things she has learned during her time as Miss Borrego.
She thanked the community, those involved with the competition, her family and her court.
"Just last year, I was in the same position as these young ladies were. Myself, and the wonderful group of ladies whom I participated with created many memories along the way. From the beginning to the end, I continuously saw an imense change in our confidence, and in the way we presented ourselves. I will never forget the nerves that ran though our body the second we started getting ready for our interviews, but I will surely never forget the support and encouragement we always gave one another. Miss Borrego was truly a life changing experience that I will forever be grateful I was a part of."
To the young ladies, Strate said, "I am so proud of each and every one of you. Standing on that stage and talking in front of a huge crowd is never easy. However, you did it, and I hope you all walk off this stage tonight with a big smile being proud of yourself. Everything you have learned up to this point, take it with you as you continue growing into a young adult. Win or lose, remember, all the hard work you have done, and the confidence that you've grown along the way. Remember, you are all Miss Borrego's. I wish nothing but the best for each and every one of you."
Carmona concluded, "I am so honored to have been able to represent this lovely community. Thank you for letting me be your Miss Borrego Springs 2022 – 2023. We may be a small community, but a community full of love, kindness, and encouragement among one another. Although I will be starting the next chapter of my life, this will always be a place that I call home. I, Hannah Lynne Strate, will forever be your Miss Borrego Springs 2022 – 23."
The new Miss Borrego Springs, First and Second Princesses, as well as Miss Congeniality were then announced and crowned by their predecessors.