OREM — The third annual Mr. & Miss International Pageant at Utah Valley State College is not so much a pageant as a celebration of country, says a pageant spokeswoman.
"The pageant was created to show community awareness and support for different cultures," said Nancy Cannon. "And it's really catching on. We're excited at the interest and response."
The pageant is hosted by the college's Black Student Union in association with the student government and multicultural departments.
This year seven international couples competed, sharing their talent, heritage and costumes from Romania, Polynesia, Asia, Spain, Native America and Armenia.
One entry included a married couple with partners from Spain and Japan. All of the contestants spoke, modeled traditional formal wear and performed talent numbers.
The winners, Kiana Chournos and Matthew Yamamoto, won $300 each in scholarship money, but every entrant won something, Cannon said.
The theme of the pageant was "We Are the World," with a Mardi Gras celebration style, in honor of Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans. Several evacuees now living in Salt Lake City were invited as special guests.