Celebrating its 50th year, the annual Fall Festival of Leaves Queen Pageant will have a little extra flair this year, along with $2,400 up for grabs, when the contest is held Oct. 19 at the Paxton Theatre in Bainbridge.
The pageant is open to girls from the Paint Valley, Greenfield, Hillsboro, Adena, Chillicothe, Huntington, Southeastern, Unioto, Western and Zane Trace school districts. Contestants must be ages 15-18 by Sept. 30 of this year.
The queen wins a $1,000 scholarship, the first runner-up $500, the second runner-up $400, the third runner-up $300 and the fourth runner-up $200.
“We’re inviting all the past queens back, some that have moved and are originally from around here are going to be judges, a couple of them are going to perform, and we’re just going to incorporate as many of them into the pageant as we can,” said Vicky Mettler, who serves as the pageant co-director with her daughter, 1997 Fall Festival Queen Bobbi Jo (Mettler) Blanton.
The pageant started in 1968 when Dr. Chrisi (Adams) Simmons was crowned. A Paint Valley High School graduate, Simmons now lives in Chillicothe and plans to be on hand for the pageant.
The deadline to enter is Friday, Sept. 22. Applications are available at McFadden Pharmacy and Johnson’s Dairy Queen in Bainbridge, She Said Yes and Brick Haven Spa in Chillicothe, and online at www.fallfestivalofleaves.com. There is a $10 application fee. Applications should be returned to: Bobbi Blanton, 10957 U.S. Route 50, Bainbridge, Ohio 45612.
The pageant will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19. The theme will be 50 Years of Splendor.
Following are the pageant rules:
• Must be female, U.S. citizen.
• Must be of good moral character, never been married, a non-parent, and no visible tattoos or body piercings.
• Must attend a session at Bainbridge United Methodist Church (corner of Maple and Second streets) on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. for photo taking and explanation of rules. Wear dress attire for photo taking.
• Must attend rehearsals at Paxton Theater on Sunday, Oct. 1; Sunday, Oct. 8; and Sunday, Oct. 15 from 2-6 p.m.
• Must attend both the photo session and rehearsals or you will be disqualified.
• Must have knowledge of Fall Festival of Leaves and the surrounding area. Information pamphlets will be provided.
• Must be willing and able to travel and promote the Fall Festival of Leaves during the following year.
• Preliminary judging will be at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 at Bainbridge United Methodist Church, followed by the pageant.
• Photo session and rehearsals are closed to the public and parents. Parents are invited to the Oct. 9 rehearsal and the church on the night of the pageant for refreshments.
For more information call Mettler at 740-701-8428 or Blanton at 740-701-3521.
“We’re just hoping we have a lot of girls,” Mettler said. “Of course, it’s our 50th year so it’s a special time.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.