Sisters Reagan and Ryann Grubbs, both graduates of Southern Arkansas University, will have the unique distinction of competing simultaneously in the Miss Arkansas 2020 Pageant.
Reagan and Ryann, from Delight, Arkansas, were crowned at the same preliminary and will compete in the statewide contest in June. Reagan graduated in 2018 with a BS in Agriculture Business, and Ryann graduated in 2019 with a BS in Agriculture Education.
Reagan was crowned Miss SAU in 2018, winning a total of $5,600 in scholarships to the University. She is presently attending graduate school at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville and is now the new 2019 Miss Arkansas River. She made her second consecutive appearance at Miss Arkansas this past June.
Younger sister Ryann has competed in several preliminaries last competition year, including the Miss Ouachita River and Miss South Central pageants. Ryann said she was inspired by Reagan to become a pageant contestant.
“I honestly never thought I would participate in pageants,” Ryann said. “I tried one when I was in high school and thought it was not for me. I continued watching Reagan compete, from the State Fair system to the Miss Arkansas system, and wanted to try again.”
“I’ve been fortunate to compete in Miss Arkansas for almost three years,” Reagan said. “I started with the title of Miss SAU 2018, a dream of mine. I then won my next ticket to Miss Arkansas in January 2019 as Miss Arkansas River 2019. Those experiences helped me to grow into the woman I am today.”
Reagan is pursuing a masters in Agricultural and Extension Education with an emphasis in 4-H Youth Development. Ryann is also in Northwest Arkansas working as an agricultural educator at Bentonville High School.
Reagan called Ryann “my biggest supporter,” who attended every competition. They have supported each other throughout their pageant journeys.
“Last competition season, Ryann competed in close to six preliminaries,” Reagan said. “I was by her side through every one of those prelims as a ‘pageant mom’ backstage. I was her makeup and hair stylist, sister, and coach – all in one.”
Watching her older sister compete in the state system gave Ryann a first-hand view of Reagan’s growing confidence and independence. “She saw how the organization has helped to fund my education so that I could graduate debt-free,” Reagan said.
“With every pageant I watched my sister grow in her poise and passion for her platform,” Ryann said. “She became more dedicated to her studies and focused on the woman she wanted to become. I have always looked up to her. After watching her compete in Miss Arkansas her first year as Miss SAU, I decided to give pageants another try.”
They decided to try competing together in the Miss Arkansas Pageant, a long-time dream of theirs and their father’s. “He would worry whether both of us going together to Miss Arkansas would ever happen in the next prelim year before the current year was even over,” Reagan said. “Never in a million years did we ever imagine our dad would be a huge pageant dad, but we are so thankful for his continued support.”
Ryann set out on a course of action to attain the goal of competing with her sister in Miss Arkansas. Ryann said she “started with the State Fair system, ended up placing first-runner up at the state pageant, and then started competing in Miss Arkansas prelims shortly after. With no prelim win during the season last year, I watched Reagan go back to Miss Arkansas and was her biggest supporter.”
“We knew going into this pageant season that we wanted to win an early prelim so that we could have plenty of time to prepare,” Reagan said. “This lead to us competing in the Miss North Central Arkansas 2020 and Miss Ozark Mountain 2020 Pageants.”
“Two titles were up for grabs in this dual-meaning pageant,” Reagan said. “We thought, ‘how cool would it be to be the first-ever sister, sister queens in Miss Arkansas history?’ We hoped it would come true so we could fully take on this experience together.”
The night of the dual pageant was stressful but also humbling in that they both won the titles of Miss North Central Arkansas and Miss Ozark Mountain 2020. “It was a dream come true for all of our family that we somehow achieved this goal on the first prelim,” Reagan said. “Now, we are beginning to prepare for Miss Arkansas 2020 in all its glory.”
“Competing together was more relaxing,” Ryann said about the dual prelim titles they won. “I had my hair and makeup artist, pageant coach, and older sister with me through every stage of the competition. The moment we both won titles, we were almost in tears. It was so surreal that the dream had come true.”
Ryann said they are now working on preparing for the Interview portion of Miss Arkansas. “We’re trying to plan out our wardrobes for the stage – our interview dresses, our talent costumes, and our evening gowns. It’s insane all that you have to pack! Also, keeping up with different issues going on in our nation right now and the issues that directly relate to our platforms. We are also trying to get appearances in when we can to help promote our platforms as much as possible.”
“While we’re sisters by both blood and crown, we don’t want to be similar in what we prepare because we’re two different individuals,” said Reagan. “However, we know that no matter what happens at the end of the day or the outcome of Miss Arkansas 2020, we will be there and support each other, win or lose.”