The "Star Spangled Razzle Dazzle" Miss North Dakota 2003 Scholarship Pageant opened Thursday night in Williston with Miss North Dakota 2003 Stacey Thomas' shining smile "lighting up" the festivities.

Special guest stars all three nights include Miss Montana Heather Rathbun and Miss Wyoming Beth Kay Holland, the Dakota Men's Trio, the Dance Factors and new "stars" from the Miss North Dakota Youth Pageant.

The 20 "sparkling stars" are introduced with "Baby, They're All Stars," and each presented a rose and a hug by their "Little Sister."

The "Little Sister" program began in North Dakota and has spread to many other state pageants.

Evening wear competition features "Girlfriend" and "Light Up the Stars" giving finalists in Delta group the opportunity to "razzle dazzle" with their stage presence, poise and personality. Nu group will provide the rainbow of color tonight.

On stage interviews gives everyone a chance to get acquainted with the finalists and learn about their platform issues. In a new twist, the judges are asking 'on-stage" questions of the contestants this year. Nu contestants spoke up last night and Delta girls will have their say tonight.

Nu group talent was on display last night with a friend in Delta introducing each "star spangled" performance. Tonight Nu will return the favor to showcase Delta talent.

Swimsuit competition, to display physical fitness and poise, was performed to a background of "Spacefunk" and "We Are All Made of Stars." Delta girls modeled last night and Nu contestants will "star" tonight.

Nu finalists are Brynn Andre, 18, of Williston; Megan Fixen, 19, of Williston; Shapeera Davis, 21, of Rapid City, S.D.; Jenna Reis, 18, of New Rockford; Sara Schelkoph, 23, of Grand Forks; Catherine Wolsky, 20, of Carrington; Keely Lovgren, 20, of Williston; Sarah Anderson, 21, of Valley City; Felecia Farrell, 21, of Minot; and Sarah Morken, 21, of Fargo.

Delta finalists are Jessica Lunneborg, 19, of Wahpeton; Jocelyn Lura, 19, of Carrington; Danielle Lynch, 18, of Williston; Bonnie Gregoire, 19, of Wahpeton; Jessica Horner, 22, of Devils Lake; Tina Domagala, 20, of Williston; Kayla Krabseth, 18, of Alamo; Kirsten Galt, 18, of Carrington; Nalia Hegge, 19, of Williston; and Paula Swenson, 21, of Williston.

Judges for the competition are Galen Kovash of Atlanta, formerly of Dickinson; David Weincek, of New York City; Jeanne Theismann, a former Miss Connecticut; Mike Edmonds of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Jana LaBree Cass of Bozeman, Mont., a former Miss Montana.

Winners from the Youth Pageant Wednesday lend a hand with introductions and share their special talents throughout the program. The newly-crowned young "stars" are Little Miss North Dakota, Neslie Christofferson, 9, of Devils Lake; Pre-teen Miss North Dakota, Hadley Eickhof, 11, of Crary; Junior Teen Miss North Dakota, Lauren Fox, 14, of Williston; and Teen Miss North Dakota, Kylee Seil, 17, of Williston.

The second night of preliminary competition begins at 7:30 p.m. today in the auditorium at the Williston High School. Final competition will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium at the Williston High School with the announcement of the Top 10 and proceed with "warp" speed to the crowning of Miss North Dakota 2004.

A Red, White & Blue Brunch honoring Thomas will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Airport International Inn.

A special Tea with Barbie (and Thomas) will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the James Memorial Center for the Visual Arts, 621 First Ave. W., Williston. Little girls are encouraged to bring their Barbie dolls and their mothers. Refreshments will be served. Proceeds from this event will go toward a scholarship in Thomas' name.

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