Meet Hampton's New Beach Queen
Crossland Wins Crown; Will Reign for A Year
By Casey Sullivan
Hampton Union, Tuesday, July 28, 2009
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online]
[John Carden Courtesy Photo]
HAMPTON -- When Kristin Crossland of Seabrook was interviewed before the Miss Hampton Beach pageant, the judges asked her what she would change about Hampton Beach if she could. Being a regular at the beach her whole life, the answer for her was easy.
"I want this to be a place for families and children to be able to come without stepping on cigarettes at the beach," Crossland said at the Hampton Beach Seashell Stage on Sunday afternoon while recalling the question. The answer was received with cheers and applause and a favorable nod from the judge's booth.
Crossland's call for cleaning up the beach, on top of her personality, appearance and confidence on stage, made a strong impression on the judges who crowned her as this year's Miss Hampton Beach.
In the end, it was Cross-land's "local flavor" that set her above the rest of the contestants, according to Judge Phil Buswell.
"She's clearly been coming to Hampton Beach for a very long time and her attributes just got better and better as the contest moved along."
"She's just a ray of sunshine," said her mother, Linda Crossland. "She's highly intelligent. She knows what she wants and she goes after it."
The pageant included 15 contestants who answered personal questions from the audience and competed in a swimsuit competition and eve-ning wear competition.
Brittany Dube of Atkinson won the swimsuit competition and earned the title of Miss Congeniality — an award voted on by the contestants to honor the friendliest and most hospitable contender.
"Basically I just tried to keep everything in high spirits all the time," said Dube. "I'm a big dork and I quote a lot of movies," she added with a laugh. "I'd keep them calm with my silliness."
Dube lives at Hampton Beach in the summertime and said that if it weren't for the snow, she would live there year-round.
The top five contestants in the pageant were Jenica Poulin, who won fourth run-ner-up; Elizabeth Curette, who took third runner-up; Tina Nicholson, who won second runner-up; Dube, who took first runner-up; and Cross-land, who took the crown.
Dance performances cho-reographed by Dance Vision Network and led by Ron Auger and Heidi Sullivan-Laroche awed the audience throughout the pageant. On multiple occa-sions their performances were almost spoiled by technical difficulties, when the music completely shut off. Yet the dancers continued their rou-tine completely unfazed by the disturbance only to evoke livelier applause and hollers than before.
Leah Grondin, Miss Hamp-ton Beach 2007, said that their ability to maintain their composure was a sure sign of excellence in a group of performers.
"It was kind of like being at a 'Stomp' show," said Lacy Jane Folger, Miss Hampton Beach 2008, referring to the only noise that emanated from their dance routine: the stomping of their feet on the Seashell Stage.
Folger, who also currently touts the title of Miss Boston, shared some words of advice for the contestants on Sunday, encouraging them all to "be yourself," "dream big," and "be a role model." Folger also dared the winner of the contest to participate ifi the Penguin Plunge at Hampton Beach, where hundreds of "plungers" dive into the icy cold New England waters in the month of February.
After the pageant had con-cluded, Crossland answered Folger's dare and confirmed that she would attend the event.
"I have the perfect bikini for it," she said.
Crossland is going into her junior year at Trinity College and is majoring in English. She hopes to go to law school afterward to study corporate law. Currently, she looks for-ward to using her crown as a tool to bring about positive change at Hampton Beach.
"Now when I'm at the beach, people will know who I am and I can have a voice," she said.
She added that she looks forward to talking with the Hampton Chamber of Commerce and local businesses to discuss ways to help make the beach cleaner.
[John Carden Courtesy Photo]