Spotlight on youth: Miss Bear Paw 2018 turns over her reign

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) "I am the 2018 Bear Paw queen," said a smiling and energetic Kylie Watts.

Miss Bear Paw 2018, Kylie Watts and Bear Paw Princess.

Shake, rattle and rebuild. That's this year's theme for the 34th annual Bear Paw Festival, which runs Wednesday, July 10 through Sunday, July 14 in Eagle River.

Fittingly for this week's spotlight on youth, we highlighted the reigning queen. Watts beat out more than a dozen girls to take home the title last year. She said she didn't expect to win, but was pleasantly surprised to hear her name.

For the last year, she's represented her title well and will now hand it over to a new queen. As for advice for Miss Bear Paw 2019, Watts said to just be yourself and have fun.

"Take lots of photos cherish every moment, make sure you get a little keepsake from everything you do, you can get pins for your sash and that's really fun because you can remember each event and really just savor the moment, be yourself."

Normally there's a pageant, but because of the earthquake and some changes with pageant personnel, this year's queen will be decided based on a resume of community service and an interview. So, while no pageant this year, Watts said they'll be recruiting to bring it back bigger and stronger next year.

The 2019 Bear Paw royalty court is as follows:
Queen-Katie Fletcher
Princess-Kylie Grue
Ambassador- Sydney kelley
Ambassador- Natasha Wanner

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