Like a burst of sunshine lingering past sunset, Alex Zieske stood out as the candidate to watch during 2021 Miss Sunnyside Pageant held Saturday night.

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered community and the national activities, the Sunnyside High School auditorium was filled to near capacity as the community gathered to cheer on the eight young women as they vied for the title of Miss Sunnyside.

Candidates performed freestyle routines and showcase their talent during the two-hour program, concluding with evening gown and impromptu question event.

As Zieske received hugs and congratulatory greetings from her fellow candidates, smiled broadly claiming she felt great.

“This is a wonderful opportunity. I can’t wait to get started on my community service project,” announced the daughter of Mara and Mark Zieske.

As a candidate the Sunnyside High School sophomore chose a project embracing her love of dance and movement. Zieske, who performed “The Hills” on a grand piano, announced she would be developing opportunities to dance with area senior citizens at assisted living and senior citizens centers.

“I can’t wait to get dancing with our community elders,” she declared.

Joining Zieske on the Miss Sunnyside Court as community ambassadors are first princess Maria Herrera, second princess Maura Roberts and Adelina Valencia as third princess.

Herrera is the daughter of Prisca Santiago and Jose Herrera. Valencia is the daughter of Felicia Hernandez and Valente Valencia.

Roberts, daughter of Andrea Munder and Chad Roberts, was selected Miss Congeniality, an honor given by her fellow candidates.

Candidate Daisy Cortez, daughter of Janie Cerda and Jerry Cortez, was named Miss Photogenic.

Also competing for the Miss Sunnyside title were Elise Moyer, daughter of Lydia and Jason Moyer, Emma Heeringa, daughter of Sarah and Micah Heeringa and Roxanne Caridad, daughter of Lorena Palencia and Ruben Caridad.

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