Shenandoah County Fair pageant seeks contestants

WOODSTOCK – The Shenandoah County Fair Scholarship Pageant is seeking contestants to help celebrate the 99th annual Shenandoah County Fair.

The 2016 Shenandoah County Fair Scholarship Pageant is the kick-off event for the fair, which will run Aug. 26 to Sept. 3.

Tiffany Painter Newland and Bridgette Fisher, scholarship pageant program directors, said contestants are still needed for this year’s pageant, especially in the Miss Division. This division is for women 17 to 22 years old.

“Our personal focus is getting girls that want to be fair queens,” Newland said. “We want somebody that is going to come here to the fairgrounds and truly appreciate and embrace the week.”

For the younger age division, they look for the “all-American girl next door.” They want to see smiles when they come on stage and be genuinely happy.

Newland said the age divisions for the pageant are as follows:

• Tiny Miss for girls 2 to 3 years old.
• Little Miss for girls 4 to 6 years old.
• Young Miss for girls 7 to 9 years old.
• Pre-Teen Miss for girls 10 to 12 years old.
• Jr. Teen Miss for girls 13 to 14 years old.
• Teen Miss for girls 15 to 16 years old.
• Miss for women 17 to 22 years old.

The registration deadline to participate in this year’s pageant is 6:15 p.m. Sunday. The pageant will be held Aug. 20.

On Sunday, the pageant office will also be holding a Miss contestant meeting at 3 p.m. and the annual option orientation at 5 p.m., when contestants will get the full run-down of the pageant.

“It’s great if someone hasn’t done the pageant before,” Newland said. “We want it to be welcoming, whether you’re a returner and you feel comfortable and know the ropes, or you’re new.”

Pageant registration costs $50 per contestant, and for families entering multiple siblings, the fee is $45 per remaining contestant.

To participate in the pageant, contestants must be Shenandoah County residents and no older than 22 years old as of pageant day.

Newland said the seven girls who become the new Shenandoah County Fair Queens, one from each division, will be the key representatives of the fair by participating in a variety of events held throughout the week, but their only required activity is the ribbon cutting. They are invited to participate in other fair events, schedule permitting.

She added that their role as queens will also allow them to participate in events held throughout the next year, including helping with the publicity of the 100th annual Shenandoah County Fair.

Educational scholarships are also awarded to winners in the Miss Division, Newland added. The winner will earn a $700 scholarship, the first runner-up earns $200 and the second runner-up will earn $100. Proof of education will need to be provided. Scholarships can go toward college tuition or student loans.

The Shenandoah County Fair Queen from the Miss Division will also represent the fair at the Miss Virginia Association of Fairs Scholarship Pageant. Last year’s fair queen, Jensen Hoover, won this competition and has earned the title of Miss Virginia Association of Fairs.

She said the Shenandoah County Fair has sent about 25 Shenandoah fair queens to the Miss Virginia Association of Fairs Scholarship Pageant, with six winning this pageant title. Those winning this title also earn scholarships.

Newland and Fisher work with contestants before, during and after the pageant. Newland said she focuses more on the business side of the pageant, while Fisher works on the more creative side.

“We are a very hands-on fair pageant,” Newland said.

They help contestants with the pageant application, wardrobe shopping, hair, make-up, speech writing and more.

“We want to give these girls the full-experience,” she said.

Pageant contestants will have rehearsals at Central High School on Aug. 19, the day before the pageant.

The morning pageant will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 20 for contestants ages 2 to 9. The evening pageant will be held at 5 p.m. the same day for contestants ages 10 to 22.

To attend the pageant, admission is $5 per pageant and $7 for the program book.

Newland said the program book received the Best in Show award this past year, “the best program book in the state,” she said.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com

More Information

Contact Tiffany Painter Newland and Bridgette Fisher at shencofairpageant@gmail.com. Contestants can also e-mail the directors to request the contestant packet/application, or stop by the fair office to pick one up 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 300 Fairground Road, Woodstock.