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Hammond crowns new queen

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After hours of suspense, Hayley Hawkins was crowned Miss Hammond 2008. Hayley is the daughter of Greg and Sue Hawkins.

Kelsey Criego was crowned Miss Congeniality and princess, taking over the roles her sister Sammie had on the 2007 court. Their parents are Todd and Patty Criego.

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Tiffany Rogers was named a princess. She is the daughter of Joe and Dina Rogers.

After winning, Tiffany said she was in shock. She's looking forward to the parades, she said.

Kayla Forrest was also crowned as a princess. She is the daughter of Tina Fredrickson and Kirk Fredrickson.

Upon being crowned, Kayla said it felt like a dream, the reality hadn't sunk in yet. She said she's looking forward to getting to know the girls from area courts. She added that the girls on this year's court are friends already.

Throughout the pageant, all the girls shined. During their time on stage, they were able to show their personalities and poise. Shelby Myer even conquered her fear of singing in front of an audience by serenading the packed house. Whitney Aune was awarded a monetary prize for raising the most money.

Gloria Willard was presented the 2008 Heartland Days Award by Linda Hawkins, Hammond Lions president.

Emcee for the night was Eldon Myer. Throughout the show, he entertained the crowd with stories of Hammond's past, although he was constantly interrupted by the pageant's program.

The 2008 court will be put to work this weekend attending various activities and events. They will make their debut parade performance - complete with crowns, sashes and smiles - on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

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