Carley Knapp in the Central Kitsap Reporter

June 13, 2009

Tiny Miss set to win big in Dallas39526NewS_93_20090611151536_TinyMiss1_20090612
Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer
Jun 11 2009, 3:20 PM · UPDATED

Washington state royalty lives in Seabeck.

Three-year-old Carly Knapp won the Tiny Miss Washington International Girl competition in April and the Knapp family will head to Dallas later this summer to cheer Carly on as she competes for the Tiny Miss International Girl crown.

Carly’s mother, Melinda, said the Washington State International Girl competition was Carly’s first pageant and they could not believe it when she won.

“We were kind of shocked,” Melinda said. “We weren’t expecting her to win, but she wanted a crown.”

Melinda said she and her husband Don entered Carly into the pageant to help her with her speech. The International Girl competitions are “natural” pageants, as opposed to the “glitz” pageants depicted on television.

“There’s no makeup allowed until you’re a teenager and then it has to be moderate. They have to look like little girls,” Melinda said. “When most people think pageants, they think ‘Toddlers and Tiaras.’”

In order to win the Tiny Miss title, Carly had to show off sportswear and party wear outfits. Melinda said party wear is “nothing more than an Easter dress.”

Contestants Carly’s age also interviewed and had playtime with the judges.

“She didn’t have to do a talent, but she sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ for one of the judges,” Melinda said with a smile. “One person said she owned the stage.”

Don said the natural pageant was a good opportunity for Carly to interact with girls her age.

“It’s a good social experience,” he said.

Carly, a Green Mountain Elementary preschool student, won more than just the Tiny Miss title. She also took home prizes for prettiest smile and most photogenic.

Melinda said they are going to buy a few new dresses for the national pageant, but that’s it.

“It’s just what she is, she is,” Melinda said. “We’re not preparing her, we’re not training her to do anything.”

The Knapps are raising money to get to the national competition in Dallas. Melinda said they hope to raise $500-$1,000 to cover the airfare.

Washington International Girl is coordinating a garage sale Saturday, June 20 at the Christian Life Center on Lincoln Avenue in Port Orchard to raise money for the national pageant participants.

“All the queens from around the state will be there having their own tables,” Melinda said.

Carly is excited to compete in the Tiny Miss International Girl competition the first weekend of August. Melinda said “as long as she’s having fun,” Carly will continue to compete in natural pageants.

“If she doesn’t want to do a pageant, she’s done,” she said. “She might decide when she’s 4 she’s done or this might be her last one.”

Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer Rachel Brant can be reached at or (360) 308-9161.