Shirlyn Andersen's grandmother urged her to enter this year's Days of '47 Pageant because the 19-year-old Orem woman has several Utah pioneer ancestors. Having at least one is a requirement of the competition.
Saturday night, her grandmother's advice paid off as Andersen was crowned queen of the summer pioneer celebration.Denise Warner, 19, Orem, a junior at Brigham Young University in elementary education, was named first attendant, and Barbie Burrows, 23, Sandy, a University of Utah senior in political science and international relations, was selected as second attendant.
Andersen plans to enroll next fall in dental assistant school in Provo and then go on to dental hygienist school.
Glen Andersen said one of his daughter's several pioneer ancestors was Zodek Judd, one of the first Pony Express riders. But there's a gap in family resemblance - Judd was only 5-foot-2, and the new queen is a statuesque 6 feet tall.
The Days of '47 queen and her attendants have a busy schedule ahead this summer. They will put on programs at LDS church meetings and civic club gatherings throughout the summer in addition to reigning at each Days of '47 event. The official activities will include appearances at the horse parade, youth parade, pops concert, square dancing on Main Street, all Days of '47 Rodeo performances and, of course, the Days of '47 Parade on July 24.
Sixty young women entered this year's pageant, competing in personal interviews and in modeling street-length dresses and formal gowns.
The three winners agreed that the best thing about the Days of '47 Pageant is that it lacks the strong competitiveness sometimes seen in other pageants.
"We've always wanted it to be a fun day for the girls and one that they will remember," said the pageant chairwoman Virginia Boogert.