(Nov. 15, 2019) Worcester County resident Sierra Dacre participated in the Miss Maryland 2020 pageant last weekend in Bethesda and took home the top award in the swimsuit event.
Dacre, who has never competed in a beauty pageant before, said the entire event was “a whirlwind of emotion.”
“I didn’t really expect too much going into this with it being my first pageant ever,” Dacre said. “But I did receive the swimsuit award, which I’m truly grateful for. That means they recognized me on something at least.”
Dacre first discovered the competition while she was shopping online, and initially thought the ad was a scam, but decided to click on it anyway.
“I clicked the link and I genuinely thought it was a scam,” she said. “I was like, ‘This doesn’t seem real,’ but I applied anyways. I put in all of my information and I received a text message asking for a phone interview. I still sort of was just like, ‘There’s no way this is real. Someone’s trying to take my money or something.’ But I did the phone interview and I received an email a few days later that I was selected as an official state contestant.”
Dacre, 20, decided to run for two reasons: for mental health awareness, citing her own experience with Bi-polar type 2 disorder, and to help encourage young women to get involved with their communities.
Since it was her first time, Dacre was surprised with how comfortable she was talking to the judges, rehearsing the evening gown and bathing suit portions of the event, and even wearing heels during the swimsuit segment.
Dacre also competed against 95 other young women in the first ever People’s Choice Award in order to advance in the Miss Maryland contest.
Despite not receiving the Miss Maryland crown or winning the People’s Choice Award votes, she was not discouraged, citing some advice she received when she was younger, which she also shared with the judges.
“One of my interview questions was, ‘What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?’” Dacre said. “For that I wrote, ‘In order to succeed, failure is inevitable. You have to get knocked down a few times to truly succeed in life.’
“I think this pageant results in it are the perfect example of that, because I went into this not having any pageant experience,” she continued. “I did not place but I still received an award, and I think that just gives me more motivation to go back next year and give it my all and try harder and get more dedicated to this.”
Dacre intends to run for Miss Maryland 2021 and plans to hire a pageant coach to become a better competitor.
“I’m just really grateful for the opportunity to represent my town,” she said. “Although I didn’t bring the title home to Worcester County, I’m still going to go back next year and fight even harder for it.”