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Pageant contestant sleeps through evening gown competition

But still manages to earn the crown
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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For Riley Weirich, what could have been disastrous ended up way better than expected.

She was hoping to woo the audience at her very first beauty pageant, which was inconveniently scheduled to start during her daily nap. By the time the evening gown contest rolled around, Riley was fast asleep in her mommy’s arms.

But the judges didn’t hold that minor detail against Riley, instead crowning the 5-month-old Miss Baby Darling Roseville 2011 in September. The event was held at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Roseville.

“It was really fun,” said mom Julie Weirich, who acts as Riley’s official spokeswoman.

Two weeks earlier, Weirich wasn’t even planning to attend a pageant, let alone cheer for her daughter to take home a prize.

But as she searched online for mother-daughter activities, she happened upon the pageant, hosted by Miss Cynthia’s Dance Center in Folsom.

Despite the popularity of the TLC Show “Toddlers & Tiaras,” the center’s owner, Cynthia Hall, says her local pageant has struggled in recent years.

“Over 20 years ago, we’d have over 100 contestants in pageants and this year we only had 14 total,” Hall said. “A lot has changed over the years so we do the best we can.”

Riley was the only candidate in the Baby Darling division, Hall said. But that didn’t stop the baby from soaking up the attention.

“She likes people and to be out and about,” Weirich said. “(She’s) such a ham.”

During the question-and-answer portion, the judges asked Riley about her favorite game.

“She told me to say peek-a-boo,” Weirich said.

Riley will make special appearances at local events, such as the holiday parade in downtown Roseville on Nov. 19.

“She’s going to really like that, I think,” her mom said.

Weirich says she probably won’t enter Riley in a future pageant once her royal reign ends next year, but is keeping the option open.

“I think it was probably a one-time thing,” Weirich said. “But if something comes up, we may do it.”

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.