A special component of the Miss Utah competition is called the Little Miss Program. Each contestant signs up to partner with a Little Miss participant. Girls, ages 5-9, have the opportunity to perform a group dance on stage and then individually escort their partner during the evening gown portion of the competition.

“Being here feels like you are a Miss Utah contestant,” explained eight year old Isabel Hallows during a backstage interview. “My mom says I could be Miss Utah someday. She likes to help me. I won Mini Miss Spanish Fork in 2011, so my pageant career just started. I am really excited to keep going.”

Another Little Miss preparing to twirl in front of the crowd is six year old Avery Evans, whose short dark hair stands out from among the gaggle of miniature pageant participants. Avery was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in April 2011. What has followed has been a whirlwind of treatment options and visits to the hospital.

Avery will be a part of the Miss Utah Pageant as an escort to Crystal Cardon (Miss Iron County), who proudly supports the platform of pediatric cancer. She has been active in awareness and fundraising efforts for the cause including the upcoming CureSearch Walk scheduled for September 29, 2012 in Sugarhouse Park.