Sue Fleming

Duval County Correspondent

FREER – First-graders Karissa Tarango and Eric Ramirez of Norman Thomas Elementary were named 2008 Little Miss and Mr. Freer during the “Roundup Corral” themed pageant held Saturday night at the Country West Palace.

Named Little Miss Freer runners-up were first runner-up Alexandra Brady, second runner-up Haley Viera, third runner-up Jodi Linscomb and fourth runner-up Rebeca McWhirter.

Also participating were Madison Chapa, Madison Martinez and Carrie Salinas.

Little Mr. Freer runners up included first runner-up Cameron Guerrero, second runner-up Andrew Villarreal, third runner-up Joey Guerra and fourth runner-up Ariel Cantu.

Eddie Balboa served as Master of Ceremonies during the 29th annual event, which was sponsored by the chamber of commerce and was directed by Josie Fernandez.

The evening began with chamber president Leo Martinez welcoming the standing-room-only crowd to the pageant, followed by the invocation led by Bro. Tim Walshe.

Preceding the opening number, introductions of the Freer ISD School Board, City Council and parents of the contestants were given by Balboa.

Nancy Black, coordinator of the Cystic Fibrosis Baby Contest, afterward announced seven-month-old Miley Faye Wallace, daughter of Diane Wallace, as the winner in the under one-year old girl division.

Black said more than $600 had been collected on behalf of Miley, which will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in San Antonio.

During the girl’s talent competition, contestant Carrie Salinas danced to “Cuban Pete,” Madison Martinez sang “I Wanna Be A Cowboy Sweetheart” and Haley Viera sang “If You Can Dream.”

Rebecca McWhirter recited poetry entitled “Mother doesn’t want a dog,” Madison Chapa sang “Daddy’s Little Girl” and Alexandra Brady told of the “Biggest Party of the Year.”

Jodi Linscomb performed an original monologue entitled “Jodi’s Day” and Karissa Tarango sang “Our Song.”

Cameron Guerrero led the boy’s talent competition with a monologue entitled “My Letter To Santa,” followed by Joey Guerra singing “She’s As Country.” Andrew Villarreal danced to “Witch Doctor/Funky Town,” Ariel Cantu sang “Drive My Life Away” and Eric Ramirez concluded the talent portion by performing a monologue/dance to “Soldier Boy.”

Following the formal wear competition, pageant guest 2008 Miss Texas Teen USA Lauren Guzman was introduced along with visiting royalty that included 2008 Little Miss and Mr. Jim Hogg County Janysa Morales and Leonel Ramirez III. Guests 2007 Miss Freer Aimee Evans and 2007 Junior Miss Freer Alanah Saenz were also introduced to the crowd.

Providing special song and dance entertainment during segments of the program were 2007 Little Miss and Mr. Freer Meghan Sharber and Enrique Maldonado. Raschel Lerma also performed “Our Song.”

A slide show featuring highlights of Meghan and Enrique’s year-long reign was then viewed by the audience, with each thanking family and friends for their support.

The pageant concluded with the traditional farewell walks prior to the awards announcement.