A retired police officer and mother of three from Conway was crowned Ms. Sweet Pickle 2018 in the Picklefest pageant.

“I have never done any pageants before,” Crystal Kalz said. “This was my first time. A friend suggested I enter, so I did.”

Kalz said she didn’t think she had a chance at winning “because I’ve never done anything like this before.”

“I was up against four other beautiful ladies,” she said. “The judging was based on beauty, casual wear and stage presence.”

Kalz, a retired cop, is married to a current Conway Police Department officer and has three children — Brandon, Stephen and Debra.

She manages a party supply store and works at her family’s business. She also volunteers at the Conway Animal Shelter and works with deaf students.

“I am a local coordinator with CCI Greenheart Exchange Program and work very closely with international students,” she said.

As Ms. Sweet Pickle 2018, Kalz will ride in the parade Saturday that opens Picklefest, a festival in Atkins.

“If I learned anything today,” Kalz wrote in a social media post after the pageant, “it is to always believe in yourself.”