As Miss Kool-Aid Days 2020, Allison Baird will be on the scene, involved in many events, throughout Kool-Aid Days this weekend.
“They’ve got me all over the place,” she said. “Everyone will be able to catch me at least once and say hi.”
Kool-Aid Days Activities begin Friday with Senior Fest from 2-4 p.m. at the Hastings City Auditorium, 400 N. Hastings Ave., and run throughout the weekend.
Admission at Hastings Museum, which opens at 9 a.m., is $5 per person during Kool-Aid Days.
When Allison, 22, was crowned Miss Kool-Aid Days during the pageant July 13, her younger sister helped with the crowning.
Morgan Baird, 17, was Miss Kool-Aid days Outstanding Teen 2019 and thus was onstage when Allison was crowned.
“I got to see a lot of fun stuff she was able to accomplish with that title,” Allison said.
They have been doing pageants together the last two years.
“It’s always been a family affair that we get to support each other through that,” she said. “It’s kind of a cool bond that she and I get to share.”
Also, Gabriella Wagner was crowned Miss Kool-Days Outstanding Teen 2020 during the pageant, which took place at the Hastings Middle School.
Allison, who is from Gering, is starting her senior year at Doane University in Crete where she is a double major in vocal performance and theater.
She sings during the talent portion of pageants.
She sang “Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman” during Miss Kool-Aid Days.
“Performing has always been something I’ve loved and want to do as a career,” she said.
Allison said she’s looking forward to being an ambassador for the Kool-Aid brand. Kool-Aid’s connection to Nebraska is a fun aspect about the state, she said.
“When people ask what’s different about Nebraska or what are some facts about Nebraska, the fact Kool-Aid was created here is always super exciting,” she said. “To be able to represent that will be really fun.”
In addition to representing Kool-Aid Days, Baird will spend the next year advocating for arts education in public schools with Little but Fierce, the nonprofit organization she started.
Little but Fierce provides curriculum training. So no matter what a school’s funding situation looks like for the fine arts the district is able to incorporate some amount fine arts and performing arts training for students.
“Right now I’m in 12 different school districts,” she said. “To have Hastings be my 13th might just be perfect.”
She also will prepare for the Miss Nebraska Pageant, which is the first weekend in June 2020.
Allison previously was crowned Miss Nebraska State Fair 2019. She also was Miss Star City 2018.
“At the end of the day, we always say different day, different judges, different outcomes,” she said. “So I’m just blessed with the opportunity those judges were able to see me and saw something special in me that the community of Hastings and Kool-Aid Days could benefit from. Any of those other girls were absolutely qualified and would’ve been great representatives, as well.”
She was runner-up in both the 2018 and 2019 Miss Nebraska Pageants.
The interview is her favorite part of the pageant, because it is a way for contestants to discuss their passions and opinions.
She likes that that local competitions are more laid back and allow for more opportunity to get to know the other contestants and volunteers.
“That is something I always appreciate, but really appreciated about Miss Kool-Aid Days, specifically, was how many people were willing to help and the directors are phenomenal,” she said.
“That day, they made it as easy and laid back as possible for us to enjoy what we were doing.”