PLYMOUTH -- This year marks the 53rd Annual Marshall County Blueberry Festival. 

The theme for the festival is “Indiana's Largest Meet and Greet.” 

On Saturday, the first official event of the festival will be the "2019 Miss Blueberry Scholarship Pageant" with the crowning of the new 2019 Miss Blueberry by Kenzie Quissell, 2018 Miss Blueberry, when she relinquishes her crown.

A total of 13 young ladies from throughout Marshall County will vie for the crown.

The contestants have a busy four weeks prior to the pageant. 

Leanne Senter has been busy helping the girls with dance rehearsals, a Community Service night visiting with the residents of the Miller’s Senior Living Community, practices on walking and grace,  getting use to a stage and a pizza party to relax prior to dress rehearsal on Friday evening.

On Saturday, the contestants will have a personal interview with the panel of judges.

This interview will count 40 percent of their score.

This same panel of judges will evaluate the contestants in Theme Wear during the on-stage portion of the contest in the evening. 

In keeping with the theme, each contestant is asked to appear in a theme-wear outfit that represents something she would wear to the Festival as Miss Blueberry. 

An essay on “How would you sell the Marshall  County Blueberry Festival to someone who has never been to the Festival” will be read as the contestant models her choice of theme wear. 

The contestants will also appear in formal wear. 

Both the theme wear and the formal wear portions will each count 30 percent toward their score for the evening.

The 2019 Miss Blueberry will receive a $1250 scholarship, a crown, cut glass bowl, Blueberry necklace and a portrait. 

The first runner-up will receive a $750 scholarship and a cut glass bowl. 

The second runner-up will receive a $500 scholarship and a cut glass bowl. 

Miss Friendship, chosen by the contestants, will receive a $100 cash award and a heart-shaped cut glass bowl. 

The queen and her court will represent the festival at several parades throughout the summer as well as various activities during the festival.  

In January, the Queen will represent the Marshall County Blueberry Festival in the Indiana State Festival Queen Pageant at the ISFA Convention held in Indianapolis. 

In 1998, Marsha Gates won the Indiana State Festival Queen Pageant representing the Marshall County Blueberry Festival as Miss Blueberry 1997. 

Marsha represented the Town of Argos in the Marshall County pageant.      

The pageant is 7 p.m. Saturday in the Argos High School auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. 

Tickets are $5, with children 12 and under free. 

The public is invited and encouraged to come and support all of the contestants as they compete for the 2019 Miss Blueberry crown. 

The Marshall County Blueberry Festival Board of Directors would like to thank Miss Kenize Quissell, 2018 Miss Blueberry for the excellent job she has done wearing her "crown.” 

Kenize is the 19-year-old daughter of James and Deanna Quissell of Plymouth. She is a sophomore at Indiana State University majoring in business management and financial services.

Scan through each of the photos for brief biographical information on all 13 candidates.

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