Miss Shreveport Laryssa Bonacquisti took home the coveted crown at the 2017 Miss Louisiana Pageant Saturday evening at Monroe’s WL Jack Howard Theater, but Minden and Webster Parish were represented with grace by Miss Holiday In Dixie Eleanor Gilbert and Miss Minden Abby Reynolds.
Gilbert, a graduate of Glenbrook School and senior-to-be at Louisiana State University, earned a top-10 finish and wowed the audience with a breathtaking rendition of “Tomorrow” and looked elegant in the evening and swimwear portions of the competition. She received further recognition as the recipient of two scholarships: Women in Business ($1,000) and STEM ($500).
Although she did not make the top 10, Reynolds was the recipient of a $1,000 Healthy Living scholarship, courtesy of Vantage Health Plan. Reynolds performed well in the preliminary talent competition on Friday, serenading the crowd with her version of Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets.”
Bonacquisti won the crown after taking home the preliminary prize for talent with her remarkable ventriloquism skills, alongside a cowboy and cowgirl puppet.
Bonacquisti performed the 1930s tune “I Want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” She was also the winner of Friday’s Lifestyle and Fitness (swimsuit) preliminary.
She earned the crown over 31 other contestants and will go on to represent Louisiana in the Miss American Pageant in September.