Shelyne Twist’s participation marks the first time a reigning Miss Cocopah has fulfilled this role.
In her last public appearance leading up to the pageant, reigning Miss Cocopah Shelyne Twist took center stage at Somerton’s Fiestas Patrias celebration on Friday night.
Organizers asked her to present the Mexican flag to a representative from the Mexican Consulate. The event, which draws an estimated 2,000 visitors each year, is a celebration of Mexican Independence Day and culture.
Each year the event organizers invite a prominent community member to present the flag. Twist’s participation marks the first time a reigning Miss Cocopah has fulfilled this role.
The 23-year-old Twist was crowned Miss Cocopah in 2012. Her two-year term is coming to an end on Sept. 25 when a panel of judges will pick a new Miss Cocopah.
Commenting on her reign, Twist said: “I worked very hard at it. I wish the next person the best of luck. I hope they can take what I built and be even better.”
Twist and the Miss Cocopah candidates attended the Fiestas Patrias, signing autographs and posing for pictures with families while other tribal representatives handed out Cocopah gift bags.
During her reign, Twist has represented the Tribe at numerous Native American events throughout Arizona, California, and New Mexico. In addition, she has participated in numerous community events including the Cocopah Cultural Celebration, the Annual Yuma Jaycees Rodeo Parade, and the Veterans Day parade.
She is now in the running for the coveted title of Miss Indian Arizona, a statewide pageant that will be held on Oct. 11 in Chandler, Arizona.
If she wins, Twist will become the first Miss Cocopah in that organization’s history to win the title.