100 Years

Miss Florida Citrus Celebrates Centennial With the Crowning of Alana Scheuerer


Back in 1924, the Miss Florida Citrus title, then known as Florida Citrus Queen, began with the crowning of Dorothy Williams in Winter Haven. Now, 100 years later, the tradition continues with the crowning of the latest Miss Florida Citrus, Alana Scheuerer. Central Florida Ag News sat down with her to talk about her win and the excitement of Miss Florida Citrus’ 100th anniversary. 

Scheuerer is a two-time FSU graduate, with a bachelor’s in Hospitality Management and Tourism and a master’s in American Dance Studies. When she’s not representing the Miss Florida Citrus title, she works in the behavioral health field, doing community outreach for the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and advocating for community involvement with the arts through her community service platform TAP (Turn up Artistic Participation). 

While this isn’t Scheuerer’s first pageant, pageantry wasn’t always something she imagined herself doing.

“I was never a pageant person growing up,” she confesses. “I had the opportunity to pursue my master’s degree, but didn’t have a way to pay for it. That was when someone first suggested trying the Miss America organization to enter the pageant. What I didn’t know was that the Miss America organization is the number one provider of scholarships for women in the country.”

So, in 2019, Scheuerer entered her first competition, Miss Tallahassee, and soon, she was hooked.

“I tell people that I started for the scholarships and I stayed for service,” she says. “I fell in love with the program, what it represents, the life skills it has given me, as well as the network of like-minded women”

To get ready for the Miss Florida Citrus pageant, Scheuerer prepared extensively, studying the citrus industry’s history and its impact for our state. Finally, the pageant rolled around, and Scheuerer was ready to take the stage.

“Competing was a wonderful experience,” she says. “The young ladies were so supportive and kind to each other. And I think it’s wonderful, especially in this day and age, to have women that are so supportive of each other.”

After an exciting competition, the moment finally came to crown Miss Florida Citrus. 

“As cliche as it sounds, the crowning moment is just something that is so exciting,” she says. “And when you get to hear your name called as the winner, it’s just the most thrilling and exciting moment, and you just feel so humbled and grateful.”

As Miss Florida Citrus, Scheuerer is already working hard to represent our state’s citrus industry.

“I’ve already hit the ground running,” she explains. “I was privileged to join Florida Citrus Mutual to lobby on behalf of the citrus industry up in Washington, D.C. I think that was the most educational, privileged experience that I’ve ever had. It was phenomenal.” 

Scheuerer’s title is particularly special because this year marks the competition’s centennial. But the Miss Florida Citrus program wouldn’t have gotten here without the help of one key person: Brenda Eubanks Burnette. 

Burnette is the Executive Director of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame and the Miss Florida Citrus Program. A former Florida Citrus Queen herself, she was the one to revive the competition in 2015 after it briefly went defunct. 

“I was approached by another former Florida Citrus Queen to bring it back, and I said I would absolutely love to do that. I did it as a way of giving back because I got my start as Miss Florida Citrus,” recounts Burnette.

The revived Miss Florida Citrus Program is a part of the Miss America system, meaning that those crowned Miss Florida Citrus can then compete to be Miss Florida, and should they win, go on to compete for the title of Miss America. 

Burnette and the Miss Florida Citrus competition provided a number of surprises to help make this centennial edition one to remember.

“For the last year, I’ve been working to find former representatives. At the Gala, we had 18 of the title holders that had come back that night introduced on stage,” she explains.

In addition to honoring past title holders with videos and collages showcasing the competition’s history, this year’s Miss Florida Citrus also received a special crown. 

“The queen this year received a commemorative centennial crown,” explains Burnette. “Only pageants that have reached 100 years are able to get this crown through the Miss America system, because it’s a gold crown, whereas normally it’s silver.”
Scheuerer is thrilled to receive this honor, and is grateful for all the help Burnette provides.

“I have immense gratitude for my director. I’m not truly alone when I am serving as Miss Florida Citrus because of her. We appreciate all the work she’s put in, and her help for preparing me for Miss Florida as well.”

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