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Siri Freeh in her evening gown. Brian Basham/Detroit Lakes Newspapers

Lake Park woman will represent Minnesota at Miss America Pageant on Saturday

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Miss Minnesota, Siri Freeh of Lake Park, is competing for the title of Miss America this week. Freeh, also Miss Northwest 2011, has been in Las Vegas all week competing for thousands of dollars worth of scholarships. The Miss America Pageant is Saturday night and will air primetime on ABC.

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The TV event airs on ABC this Saturday at 8 p.m. live from the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

The judges for this year's pageant include Dancing with the Stars pro Cheryl Burke, Good Morning America's Sam Champion, fashion industry leader Bradley Bayou, former Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart, Shark Tank mogul Daymond John, 2011 World Vault Champion McKayla Maroney, and Miss America 2009, Katie Stem Irk.

Dancing with the Stars co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet will host the event as the judges work together to evaluate each contestant and decide who will get to wear the tiara -- and take home thousands of dollars in scholarship money. The fact that the contestants are competing for cash to pay for school is something that not a lot of people realize, Burke-Charvet told ABC News, who adds that there are other long-held misconceptions about the pageant.

"I don't think people really realize how intelligent these women are and that most of them are competing for scholarship money," she told ABC News Radio. "They're incredibly accomplished women, so charitable, and I was was really impressed at how dynamic they are."

Calling the contestants' looks "just a portion of this competition," Brooke-Charvet added, "I think poise and personality are a big part of it [too]."

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