SUBMITTED BY MICHAEL CATE –
The annual Miss Polk County and Little Miss Polk County pageant is a fall tradition that allows young women opportunity to gain self confidence, make new friends and develop personal skills. Lady Ouachita member Cheryl Bates explains the goal of her group is to provide young women encouragement and experience that will carry lifelong benefits through college, professional advancement and community leadership. “Although only one girl will be selected to hold this year’s title, our goal as an organization is to bring out the winning spirit of confidence that each contestant will need to achieve personal success in life,” Bates said.
This year’s event will be held at the Mena High School Performing Arts Center on Saturday, September 26 at 6 p.m.
Contestants age 3, 4, and 5 may register for the Little Miss category and young women age 16 to 21 are invited to place their bid for the Miss Polk County title. All contestants must have been residents of Polk County for at least six months prior to registration. The winners of the local pageant will represent Polk County in the Miss Arkansas Pageant later this year.
Registration for the pageant will be held Monday, August 24 at the Polk County Housing Authority Community Room located at 509 South Morrow Street in Mena. Little Miss contestants will be received at 5:30 and should come prepared to be photographed. Miss Polk County contestants will be received beginning at 6:30 and should also come prepared to be photographed. This year’s entry fee is $100 and will include entry in the general category as well as the Most Photogenic competition. Contestants are encouraged to enlist sponsors to cover their entry fee. Sponsors are typically family members, friends, neighbors or local businesses and will be listed in the pageant program.
This year’s Most Photogenic category that will be judged by a select panel of professional photographers from the SW Professional Photographers Association and The Professional Photographers Guild of Houston. PPA Certified Photographer Michael Cate will create photogenic entries for each contestant at a mini session during registration. Photogenic winners will share professional modeling contracts with Avalon Keep Botanical Gardens valued at $1500.
Applications may be picked up and dropped off at the customer service desk at Union Bank in Mena. Contestants may also bring applications to the registration event. Fees are due at time of registration. Late registration after August 24 will incur an additional fee of $25.
Aside from the photogenic portion of the program, Miss Polk County will be selected through interview with the official pageant judges, casual wear, evening wear and on-stage questions. Contestants will be expected to attend scheduled rehearsals where they will receive coaching and guidance they will find useful on stage and beyond.
Several Miss Polk County representatives have placed well at the state level through the years.
For more information or updates visit The Lady Ouachitas or Avalon Keep on Facebook.
The Lady Ouachitas is a local non-profit organization that has hosted the annual pageant since the early 1980s.