Miss Deer Park is a great privilege that comes with great responsibility—and no former Miss Deer Park has had the responsibility of wearing the crown and a smile while her town remains on lockdown. With an end to this unprecedented quarantine finally in our sights, Ainsley Carpenter has had a chance to reflect on this rocky beginning to her reign.
In March, Carpenter was awarded the title of Miss Deer Park of 2020, alongside new princesses Isabella Sedano and Janessa Sexton. After months of memorable experiences, the community got to see these three ladies’ hard work pay off by being crowned royalty.
“It was a tremendous surprise when I heard them call my name,” says Carpenter. She remembers the thought of leading and serving Deer Park was overwhelming, but positive.
However, just a single day before this annual ceremony, Washington state K-8 schools were placed on a temporary shutdown (later extended to the end of the school year). In the days following, all nonessential workplaces were ordered to suspend operation due to the pandemic. Over time, Carpenter and her princesses watched as Deer Park and the surrounding area became something of a ghost town.
Instead of shying away during a time when reclusiveness is widely accepted (even advised in some places), Carpenter jumped at the opportunity to start her year amidst this adversity. “To be honest, I am disappointed that many of my responsibilities and appearances to represent Deer Park have been canceled,” she says. “The challenge [now] is devising ways in which we can serve within the constraints of the local government.” Stay tuned to hear from Carpenter on social media, she encourages, and be sure to keep an eye out for her in the community.
This year, although many events are either cancelled or postponed, Carpenter does not feel sad that she is missing out on the traditional Miss Deer Park experience. “I think this year will definitely be challenging at certain times,” she concedes. “But [certainly] rewarding at others.” Being Miss Deer Park isn’t about personal gain or fun, but rather about service for the community, which is Carpenter’s number one priority.
“We are a scholarship program [after all], and we want everyone to know that that is our goal—to further education for young ladies,” Carpenter says.
This is a year full of firsts, and the 2020 royalty will have a unique experience to reflect on. With 3 months already come and gone since being crowned, there is a new sense of appreciation for what time they have left and the community needs that must be met. Carpenter, as she says, is leading her town in a time and situation never before experienced. Her tenacity and zeal to spread positivity is that of a true Miss Deer Park, and the community is eager to see what she has in store for the year.
Follow all of the Deer Park Royalty through their 2020 season at facebook.com/missdeerpark