The excitement was high during the Miss Sunshine Pageant held Friday night at the Lemann Center. As part of the annual Donaldsonville Sunshine Festival, the pageant saw seven contestants, two of which competed for the title of Miss Sunshine 2017.

Walking away from the pageant sporting the title of Miss Sunshine, Miss Congeniality and Best Model was 17-year-old Tamiko Stroud from Donaldsonville High School. The two-time pageant winner, who was named Miss Donaldsonville Teen 2015, said she competed for the title because of her love for representing Donaldsonville and her passion for volunteering.

“I found a passion for competing,” Stroud said. “I enjoy volunteering a lot and when I was Miss Donaldsonville I had a purpose and when people saw me I was volunteering with a name. When I gave that away it was like now I’m just another girl from Donaldsonville volunteering, so now I can do it again as Miss Sunshine and do it in the name of Donaldsonville and represent it in a positive way.”

Stroud said she feels it is an honor to represent her city as both Miss Donaldsonville and Miss Sunshine and encourages other young women to enter beauty pageants, as it builds self-confidence.

“I was a very a quiet girl when I was younger. I always kept my head in a book and my head was always down and I didn’t really talk to anybody. But when you’re in beauty pageants you have to have an understanding of who you are and who you want to be. Confidence is a really big thing.”

During her reign, the teen will continue to represent Donaldsonville in all her activities such as volunteering throughout the City and participating in various community events.

In addition to the pageant, the historic town of Donaldsonville saw a wide variety of events such as the four-day long carnival attractions and games and the ever-popular Avenue Evening Stroll held in the historic district. Among events held Saturday night was multiple live performances from bands and choirs such as the Community Male Chorus Choir, Kenny Fife and the Back Trac Band and the Ascension Catholic and Donaldsonville High School Bands. Stores throughout the town also opened their doors to sell crafts and holiday items, encouraging attendees to shop local.