Positive Pageant | Culture Features | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

Positive Pageant 

Local Mrs. Oregon aims for Mrs. America

When she was crowned "Miss Czhilispiel" in her Texas hometown in 1998, Tara Songey's royal duties included riding on parade floats in the thick Texas heat and humidity. She recalls the floats as "foil frying pans" and laughs as she remembers, "just melting and wearing that heavy crown." 

Fast forward to today and she is the recently crowned Mrs. Oregon America, who will compete for the national Mrs. America title in Las Vegas, postponed from this past August to January 2021.

Tara Songey says that representing Oregon in the Mrs. America pageant has been a positive experience. - COURTESY TARA SONGEY
  • Courtesy Tara Songey
  • Tara Songey says that representing Oregon in the Mrs. America pageant has been a positive experience.

As for that earlier pageant in Flatonia, Texas, "Czhilispiel" honors the town's Czech and German heritage; the name is a play on the word, "chili." Adding the "z" is a play on a Czech spelling, and the word, "spiel" means "play." The festival started in 1973 to celebrate the town's centennial anniversary.

Songey, 38, says she was first bit by the pageant bug when she was a junior in high school, living in that small town located between Houston and San Antonio. When Songey and her family moved to Bend nearly two years ago, she knew she wanted to get involved. She started doing volunteer work at her church, offering childcare during services. That led to volunteering at Shepherd's House, where she helps out with the shower truck and provides free haircuts. "I really like doing the haircuts; it's more personal, and people feel like a million bucks after a haircut. I enjoy hearing their stories. I always leave feeling really grateful." She says she sometimes thinks of herself as a "hair-apist," working to help fix "hair and souls."

click to enlarge COURTESY TARA SONGEY
  • Courtesy Tara Songey

For the past year she's worked as a hair stylist at Tangerine and teaches a weight and strength training class (booty sculpting) at the Box Factory.

"I have a tendency to take my hobbies and turn them into jobs," Songey jokes.

About running for Mrs. Oregon, she says, "It was terrifying; I tried to talk myself out of it."   Then she decided to jump in with both feet.

"I just needed a challenge, doing something for myself and setting a goal."

She and five other contestants attended the two-day pageant in Salem back in July, postponed from March.

The pandemic has severely limited her duties as Mrs. Oregon, as far as hosting or emceeing public events, but Songey says she plans to help candidates in next year's pageant, which she calls a "healthy and wonderful experience, a really cool thing to be a part of." And depending on what happens with the pandemic, she muses, "I might be a homeschool teacher forever."

Songey says she practices a philosophy that she calls 'self-care with a mind-body connection,' focusing on the emotional and mental state of health. She refined it for the Mrs. Oregon pageant and came up with her "Inside Out" platform. "We all have a little room for improvement. Show up as the best version of you—wife, mom, daughter, friend."

RICHARD SITTS
  • Richard Sitts

While she still appreciates her early pageant days in Texas, Songey says her current pageant efforts are "super fun." For Mrs. Oregon, she had to do a dance and chose the Taylor Swift song, "Shake It Off." And these days, she also practices, "Walk On Wednesday," when she cooks while wearing 6-inch stilts, in preparation for wearing high heels during the pageant—much to her family's enjoyment.

Songey says she would be honored to represent any local businesses and organizations in her efforts. Those interested can reach out at mrsoregon2020@yahoo.com.

People can also follow her journey on IG@tarasongey.mrsoregonamerica, or on Facebook at Tara Songey.

About The Author

Richard Sitts

Richard Sitts grew up in the midwest, mostly in Kansas. After earning a journalism degree from Kansas State University, he worked in various capacities at newspapers in Kansas, New York, New Mexico, California and Colorado, before arriving in Bend several years ago. Highlights included working as a bureau reporter...
Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
DIY - Candle Making

DIY - Candle Making - DIY Cave

Sun., May 9, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

  •   @sourceweekly on Instagram

Latest in Culture Features

  • Rain Check

    • May 5, 2021
    Will La Niña's failure to deliver bolster wildfire season? More »
  • Old Doesn't Mean Addled

    • Apr 21, 2021
    They never saw their age as a limitation. But what about the rest of us? More »
  • Absolutely Heaven

    • Apr 7, 2021
    The joy of grandkids, being there for family... and COVID diagnoses after a funeral More »
  • More »

More by Richard Sitts

  • Pandemic or Not, the (Radio) Show Must Go On

    Pandemic or Not, the (Radio) Show Must Go On

    A young radio host shares his love of music over the airwaves, with some social-distancing adjustments
    • Jul 29, 2020
  • A Life Lived In Vinyl

    A Life Lived In Vinyl

    A Facebook friend's challenge prompts a look back at this writer's 10 most influential albums, from Springsteen to the Chipmunks doing The Beatles
    • Apr 26, 2020
  • 10 Screenings, Four Days

    10 Screenings, Four Days

    How we regular folk got to enjoy Sundance, the premiere U.S. film festival
    • Feb 12, 2020
  • More »

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2021 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation