HERRIN, IL (KFVS) - An annual festival in southern Illinois kicked off on Monday, May 22 with a scholarship pageant.
Young women competed for Miss HerrinFesta Italiana at the Civic Center.
The scholarship pageant is the largest event of its kind in southern Illinois.
The 2015 winner calls the pageant a surreal experience.
"Whenever they win, it's a totally new experience," Emily Stuart Null said. "This is what we call the pinnacle of pageantry, simply because you do get so many opportunities with the Festa, as well as the scholarship money on top of that."
20-year-old Jeanie Harmon of Herrin won this year's title. She will attend all the events at HerrinFesta this week and receive a $4,000 scholarship.
HerrinFesta wraps up on Memorial Day.