NEWMAN - In previous years, the community has seen the coronation of a new Miss Newman by the outgoing Miss Newman along with her court, long a tradition which was one cornerstone of the annual Fall Festival.

This year, due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced cancellation of the festival and Miss Newman Pageant, organizers instead crowned Miss Newman Doreen Dyt and her court to represent the community for a second year as the 2020 court.

The ceremonial coronation was held Thursday evening in Newman’s downtown plaza - the date on which, in normal times, the Miss Newman Pageant would have been held.

Teri Ramos, Fall Festival chairperson, expressed regrets that there was no pageant held this year and that the experience of running for Miss Newman could not be extended to a new group of candidates.

“Even though we didn’t get to have a pageant this year I am still happy we were still able to do something,” Ramos said of the ceremony. 

“We look at this as a positive and wanting to move forward, and know once everything calms down we will be able to have a proper ceremony next year,” added Christine Eddington, an event organizer.

Dyt, the reigning Miss Newman, said she was willing and excited to hold the title for a second year, but at the same time deeply disappointed that the traditional pageant and festival are on hold until 2021.

“When finding out that I was being crowned again I was excited to represent my town once again,” Dyt told Mattos Newspapers. “But at the same time I was also heartbroken because there is no Fall Festival, and I don’t get to crown a new Miss Newman this year who gets to experience what I (have).”

Zoe Munoz, 2019-20 first runner-up to Miss Newman, and Yasmeen Pelayo, Miss Congeniality, agreed that their experiences have been memorable but they too are disappointed the no festival or pageant were held this year.

Each joined Dyt in saying that they are honored to serve until normalcy returns and the crown can be turned over to a new court whose members will have the experience of representing the community.