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Keith, now with children of her own, doesn't remember much from the experience, but that didn't stop her from entering her eldest daughter two years ago when she was old enough to compete. Callie Keith, then 8 years old, was named second runner-up.
"I grew up in Mission, so I've always known about the Texas Citrus Fiesta," Rosette Keith said.
Callie's little sister Liv Bailey, who was 6, loved watching Callie compete and asked her mom when her turn would come to enter the contest.
In October, at 8 years old, Liv Bailey was deemed old enough to compete.
She had little coaching, mainly from her older sister, now 10 and much wiser, who told Liv Bailey what to expect and how to walk.
Mostly, though Liv Bailey, who loves to dance and sing, was a natural.
"She has a personality that I have never seen," Rosette Keith said. "She has no fear. I'm just very proud of our daughter."
Berta Filut, director of the Texas Citrus Fiesta, has emphasized that the competitions for the titles of Princess Anna, Queen Citrianna and their courts are not beauty pageants. More emphasis is placed on interview questions than looks and presentation.
There are three judges whom Filut tries to recruit from out of the area in the Princess Anna competition
"She's so precious," Filut said of Liv Bailey. "My court is really outstanding. I'm like a proud mom. She's sweet, she's smart and she's witty."
The 2014 Tangerine Court was selected in October and will be crowned at the Royal Coronation during the Texas Citrus Fiesta on Jan. 23. Other members of the court are Madison Cavazos, first runner-up; Princess of Tangerine Blossom Victoria Olivarez; Princess of Lemon Blossom Elly-Marie Saenz; Princess of Lime Blossom Madison Marshall; Princess of Red Grapefruit Blossom Larissa Rodriguez; and Isabella Ortiz, second runner-up.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.