FAU Celebrates Homecoming with 14th annual Timucua Pageant

Maddy Mesa

List of pageant contestants:
(back row from left to right)
Katia Vallecillo, Brittany Lugo, Emma Briggs Coleman, Kaley VanZile, Jasmine Johnson
(front row from left to right)
Rodney Hogan, Jr., Michael Precourt, Kentavious Peterkin
(not pictured)
Loni Shamble
Alejandro Roman
Photo by Christine Capozziello.

Showcasing students’ talents and their school spirit, the 14th annual Timucua Pageant brings school tradition and fun to Homecoming week.

“Timucua is not your typical beauty pageant; it’s not your typical fashion show,” Trent Dunn, a second year grad student and educational leadership major, said. “It’s more so all those thing wrapped up into a big owl bundle.”

Ten FAU students will compete in this year’s pageant, Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 8:00 p.m. in the Live Oak Pavillion for a chance to be crowned Mr. and Ms. Timucua. Winners will be in the Homecoming Parade, receive VIP tickets to the Ralphie May comedy show, and be eligible for a $500 scholarship from Housing and Residential Life.

These prizes were possible, according to Adam Schwarz, assistant housing director and committee chair of the Timucua Pageant, due to more money. This year’s budget is $3,000 and it not only covers prizes and awards, but also advertising, decoration, venue costs, equipment rentals for sound/video, etc. Prizes like the scholarship and the addition of more award categories weren’t at previouses Timucua Pageants. Partnerships with Student Involvement and Leadership, Homecoming, the Student Union and OWL Radio have helped offset the costs of the event according to Schwarz.

The event originally started for Timucua Hall residents, held by students, and continued until 2006-2007 when the pageant’s date overlapped with Homecoming week, soon making it a Homecoming tradition.

“Its one of the big traditions,” Dunn said. “It’s one of the few staples we have in our university community. I think that’s why it’s so popular.”

The six females and four males chosen as the pageant finalists will be competing in events like spirit wear, talent competition, evening wear and answer on-stage questions.

“I’ve never done pageants before, and it’s a lot harder than it looks,” said contestant Rodney Hogan Jr., a sophomore and communications major. “A lot of technical things that you have to learn.”

Walking, posing, answering questions for the judges, are just a few things contestants had to practice when pageant rehearsals started October.

“I’m so happy,” pageant contestant Katia Vallecillo, a freshman anthropology major, said. “I’ve never done something like a pageant. So, I really doubted I would get in. I’m really happy and proud that I got here.”

One of the new events this year is the judges’ interview which requires students to be interviewed prior to the pageant.

There’s also Owl star, in which students will dress up like a celebrity, do a quick impersonation, and explain why they selected that celebrity.

Celebrity impersonations may fit in with this year’s theme of “A Starry Night.” And even though the pageant is being held indoors this year, students will still have a chance to see those stars during intermission.

“In the past, it’s always been an outdoor event,” Adam Schwarz said. “Historically, it’s been out on the Housing Quad Lawn area, and we’ve always had that worry of inclement weather.”

According to Schwarz, last year they had to move the event to the Live Oak Pavillion the morning of the event. So this year, to avoid possible nasty weather, the Timucua Pageant will be in the Live Oak Pavillion again.

“We didn’t want to lose that traditional outdoor piece,” Schwarz said. “So for intermission we plan on using the pavilion space in front of Live Oak, and we’re going to have intermission acts perform.” Mark Patton, winner of Mr. Timucua last year, is rumored to be one of the acts to perform during intermission.

This year, for the first time in recent history, the Timucua Pageant has new award categories available for contestants to win. “We created some new categories to award to the contestants that participate rather than just being Mr. and Ms. Timucua,” Schwarz said.

These new award categories include most spirited, fans’ favorite, and Mr. and Ms. congeniality which fellow will contests vote for. In total, contestants have the opportunity to win in six categories.

Even though they auditioned for different reasons, students seem excited to be a part of FAU tradition.

“It was a combination of the scholarship, and also I wanted to experience things while I was in college,” Katia Vallecillo said. “This seemed like a fun thing to do.”

Another pageant contestant, Kentavious Peterkin a junior and communications major, does gospel rap as his talent and is excited to be a part of the Timucua Pageant.

“It feels pretty good,” Peterkin said. “I feel good sharing my gift with everybody.”

A veteran to the Timucua Pageant, Emma Coleman, a sophomore and communications major, decided to give the pageant another chance.

“You meet people through it, and your friends come out and support you,” Coleman said.

Students get more than just prizes and a fancy sash.

Schwarz said the Timucua Pageant “represents someone that is a member of our community who represents everything that Housing stands for; involvement, leadership, growth and academic.”

The Timucua Pageant is on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 8:00 p.m. in the Live Oak Pavilion.