Elektra Vontrell crowned Miss Druid City Pride 2020

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Elektra Vontrell crowned Miss Druid City Pride 2020

CW / Kelsey Mullins

CW / Kelsey Mullins

CW / Kelsey Mullins

CW / Kelsey Mullins

Kinsley Centers | @kinsleycenters, Staff Reporter

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Lights, stage, cameras – it’s showtime. The Miss Druid City Pride 2020 pageant was held at Icon Tuscaloosa on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Six contestants competed and Imberli Vontrell, Miss Druid City Pride 2019, crowned her successor Elektra Vontrell as Miss Druid City Pride 2020.

A red, fully rhinestoned, floor-length dress with beaded fringe sleeves glistened under the spotlight on the Icon stage Saturday night. The dress was worn by Elektra Vontrell, the newly crowned Miss Druid City Pride (DCP) 2020. 

As her name was called, the audience erupted with cheers. Vontrell’s shocked, tear-filled reaction expressed gratitude with a gleaming smile as a crown was placed on her wavy brown hair. 

“I was just overwhelmed with emotions,” Vontrell said. “I don’t know if you saw me, but I was literally crying on stage because I have been working so hard for this and it finally came true.”

As the new Miss Druid City Pride, Vontrell said she plans to work with the organization and in the community throughout the year. She is excited about what is to come.

The required duties of Miss Druid City Pride include the queen being at the Pride Festival on Oct. 4, coming back the following year to crown the next queen and attending one other pride event throughout the year.  But Russell Howard, president of DCP, said the queens typically go above and beyond these expectations.

“In the two years we’ve done it before, the winners have gone above and beyond and have come to so much more than those three things,” Howard said. “So it’s great to see who’s going to step into those shoes and sort of take that on.”

As the organization enters its fifth year since conception and aims for its largest Pride Festival yet, Howard said 2020 will be an impactful year for DCP. 

“Five years is not a lot, but when you’re a new organization, five years is huge,” Howard said.

DCP’s mission, Howard said, is to provide an outlet free expression. The Miss Druid City Pride pageant was no different.

“Drag is a big part of our community,” Howard said. “It’s a big part of Pride, so it’s a great night to let them showcase their talents and what they can do, and at the end, somebody walks home with a shiny crown.”

In total, six contestants graced the stage with hopes of winning the title of Miss Druid City Pride 2020. When the contestants were not on stage competing, the pageant still kept its high energy throughout the night with performances by Imberli Vontrell, Miss Druid City Pride 2019; Addison Vontrell, the reigning Miss Icon; Genesis, Miss Druid City Pride 2018 and Dorae Saunders from America’s Got Talent.

The presentation competition was the only themed category. Called “Welcome to T-Town,” this category asked contestants to embellish a given phrase with a personal flourish. For this performance, one drag queen wore houndstooth, another the classic crimson and white colors, and one contestant even went as a Druid queen. For the evening gown competition, the contestants brought an array of ensembles and electric personalities to the stage. The audience took in fully beaded dresses with fringe and simple, chic designs with lace. Finally, the talent competition consisted of an elaborate lip-sync performance with costumes changes, back-up dancers and commanding dance moves.

Alexandrea Collins, a sophomore majoring in environmental science, attended the pageant to show support for the contestants.

“There is such a stigma against people of [the LGBTQ] community, and I feel like by showing your support and knowing that you know they’re welcome as they are and they are embraced by the community, you know no matter how many people are here, just the fact that there are people that accept them, I feel like it makes day-to-day life a lot easier to just know that there are people that care about them,” Collins said.

Events like Miss Druid City Pride create a community for the contestants to openly express themselves. Collins hopes there will be more events like this that will allow the LGBTQ community to grow and encourage more people – not just supporters, but also people who are a part of the community – to come out and open themselves up to others.

To see Druid City Pride’s upcoming events or to join the organization, visit druidcitypride.org. There is no membership fee to join.