Valerio excited for future after Swedish crowning

Published 10:03 am Monday, November 27, 2023

By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Newly crowned Miss Swedish Festival Queen Alexia Valerio’s reign started with the event the queens represent, and is now getting into one of her favorite times of the year.

Valerio was crowned 2023 Miss Swedish Festival on Oct. 7 at Thorsby High School. Valerio said leading up to the pageant and preparing for it was the most difficult part about it, overthinking every detail. However, the work paid off and her fellow contestants helped her feel comfortable and relaxed on pageant day. In the end, her name was called.

“I worked hard for it,” Valerio said. “Every night I put on my heels and walked around, and my parents watched in the living room. The day of (the pageant), I was not as nervous as I thought I would be. (Before the announcement) I was just thinking about how lucky I was to even be up there, and I did not care if I won or not because it was just so much fun doing it and preparing for it.”

The pageant began with a first look at the contestants and introductions, followed by the evening wear walk before the announcement of Valerio as the new Swedish Festival Queen.

“I was super thankful, and the first thing I did was thank God. I was super shocked because I did not expect it, and then I was excited to get to meet all my new sisters.” Valerio said.

Valerio and the fellow Swedish Queens visited Fox6 News in Birmingham the week after the pageant, as well as carved pumpkins and attended some other community events leading up to the 2023 Swedish Festival on Oct. 14 that filled the community of Thorsby.

Now, Valerio and the queens are preparing for all of the Christmas events across the county, which is one of her favorite times of the year. The queens will also be visiting the governor’s mansion in Montgomery in December.

Valerio is currently a senior at Isabella High School and she grew up there as well. Now, she is representing the Thorsby community and did her research to learn everything about the place she now has so much impact on.

“I have always had to go through Thorsby, and we have always loved going to the Swedish Festival and stuff, so whenever I started getting into the pageant I started to do more research on it and learning how deep their history actually was, and I learned so much,” Valerio said.

Valerio plays volleyball and golf at IHS, and is a member of numerous clubs in the school. She mentioned she grew up with only brothers, and not having a sister left a small void for her. Now, she has four new queen sisters that she said have helped fill the void already.

Valerio said that being the Swedish Queen to her means being a positive role model towards other young girls in the Chilton County community, and she hopes to do that during her reign.

“I am excited about it all, meeting new people and everything that comes with it,” Valerio said.