On Thursday night at Seville Quarters in Downtown Pensacola, Florida, the new Miss Snowball Derby was crowned in front of a packed crowd. For the 51st Annual Snowball Derby and all festivities leading up to the historic event, Helena Ciappina will hold the title and crown of Miss Snowball Derby.
“I honestly did not expect to win,” Ciappina told Speed51.com. “There’s ladies here with a lot more experience than me, for sure. But I am very excited to take on this year, I tried out last year and didn’t make it. I am excited to work with a lot of people from the racetrack and represent an event that has grown to international recognition. I can’t express how happy I am to do this.”
Fifteen women came out to the Seville Quarters for the fifth annual Miss Snowball Derby pageant. Two women, Helena Ciappina, and Selena Malies walked out with titles. Malies was named “Miss Congeniality,” and is the second recipient of that award in the pageant’s history.
The competition is broken down into three parts. The first round sees all of the contestants walk in casual wear. The second round is formal wear, after which judges vote for five semifinalists. The competition was so fierce this year that, due to a tie in votes for two contestants, six girls moved on to the semifinals.
The six semifinalists were asked a series of questions by the judges before the final round of voting was held and Ciappina was ultimately crowned as the 2018 Miss Snowball Derby.
All participants of the pageant received a ticket to the 51st Annual Snowball Derby. Cash ATM, a locally operated business in the Panhandle of Florida, donated a total of $1,000 as a prize for the top three contestants, divided between the winner of the competition ($500), second place ($300) and third place ($200).
The new Miss Snowball Derby also received a necklace from the David Yurman’s Solari collection, gifted by Jewelers Trade Shop. The pendant, which retails for $500, features an 18” sterling silver chain with a 10mm round south sea pearl nestled between two diamonds.
Race fans will be able to see Miss Snowball Derby all week long at Five Flags Speedway when the 51st Annual Snowball Derby week kicks off on November 28th. Miss Snowball Derby will be out and about at the race track as well as in victory lane for every division, including the Snowball Derby itself on Sunday, December 2.
-Text by Speed51 Staff
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com / Melissa Strahley