In the course of representing her hometown, the next Miss Fountain Valley may get her hands dirty. Or at least her shoes.

That's what Keeli Scott Lisack, the executive director of the city's first scholarship pageant in 21 years, remembers about her own year wearing the crown. Lisack, who was Miss Fountain Valley in 1977, got a firsthand view of the city when it was still becoming a "Nice Place to Live."

"We did a lot of groundbreaking back then," she said. "Back in 1977, there was still a lot of undeveloped land. I remember standing out in the dirt in my evening gown and crown a few times. Real elegant, you know."

With Hyundai constructing a massive new U.S. headquarters building and developers seeking to build a hotel and residences by City Hall, there may be plenty of earth to stand in.

But there's more than a little glamour to the job too — the winner of Miss Fountain Valley will go on to compete for Miss California in June.

The pageant, which last took place in 1991, will make its comeback at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Saigon Performing Arts Center. Twelve young women will compete in five categories: lifestyle and fitness (which is to say, the swimsuit competition), talent, evening gown, personal interview and on-stage question.

Lisack, who took the reins last year, has a high-profile team behind her. City Councilman Larry Crandall will officiate the on-stage questions, while Kristy Cavinder-Frontiera, the 2009 Miss California and a friend of Lisack's family, will serve as emcee.

Crandall said he and other organizers were busy the past few days writing potential questions. During the pageant, each contestant will draw one at random from a bowl and have to come up with an impromptu answer.

Crandall, who spearheaded fundraising for the pageant, said he was pleasantly surprised by the community's support.

"I had people calling me and telling me, 'I want to be involved with this,'" he said. "It wasn't a hard sell at all."

Overseeing the proceedings will be a panel containing three certified Miss California judges and four Fountain Valley residents: retired educator Rosemary Eadie, Boys and Girls Clubs basketball coach Robert Israelsky, Southwest Conservatory of Music director Nancy Woo and beauty industry professional Cari Eisele.

Lisack said the future Miss Fountain Valley's activities had yet to be determined, but they would likely include appearing at Fourth of July festivities, attending grand openings and representing the city at other events.

"One thing I want to convey to the girls is that you never know what opportunities are going to come out of that," she said.

michael.miller@latimes.com

Twitter: @MichaelMillerHB

2012 Miss Fountain Valley contestants

NAME / AGE / SCHOOL / PLATFORM STATEMENT

Aimee Le / 20 / UC Irvine / Aiming High for Disabled Children

Cassandra Weed / 19 / OCC / Prevention of Bullying

Taylor Benay Palitz / 17 / FV High / Impoverished Children — Everyone Can Make a Difference