An emotional win for young Gladstone queen
BEING crowned Miss Harbour festival was a dream come true for Serenity Charles who tried to hold back tears as she stepped on stage.
The 10-year-old from Kin Kora was over joyed when she received her crown and winning sash at Wednesday night's new-look talent quest.
The annual quest for Gladstone's queen started earlier this month but Serenity was one of the last girls to squeeze in.
"When they called my name and I sat on the chair, I was crying because I was so happy,” she said.
"I didn't really want to cry because it would ruin the photo.”
Her mother Jennifer said it was a big moment in her daughters life after Serenity coped with the loss of her dad.
"Her dad recently passed away and she was a bit sad he wasn't there to watch her win,” the mother-of-four said.
"When they called her out her shoulders dropped and her face lit up, she's been dying to do this.”
Mrs Charles said her daughter had been begging to enter a pageant for years.
"I never had enough time to enter her but this year I saw it online and I managed to enter her a day before entries closed,” she said.
"She's been at me every year wanting to join but I've just had to say sorry, I've been too busy.
"I surprised her and when she got home from school and it was wonderful seeing her so excited.
"She started practising her walking straight away and prepared her beauty pageant speech.”
Serenity's crown and sash now have their own place in her bedroom, high on a shelf.
"I've never done anything like this before. When they said I had to practice for my rehearsal it started to feel like it was really happening,” she said.
"Next year I won't be so nervous.
"I was so excited to tell all my friends and my teacher yesterday and they all said congratulations.”
Mrs Charles said she was proud of her daughter for chasing her dream.
"She's very proud of her achievement, she's warned her three brothers to stay away from her bedroom and not too dare touch her crown,” Mrs Charles said.
"It's a big deal for her.”