(MITCHELL) - Little girls and their parents flocked to the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce on August 15 to sign up for an opportunity to be the Little Miss, Mini Miss and Junior Miss Persimmon Festival Queen.
"I had one girl and her family standing at the Chamber of Commerce at 6:15 a.m.," said Teresa Reynolds chairwoman for the event. "It is really competitive at this age. The office didn't open till 8:30 a.m., that is dedication."
The first 20 girls in each competition were chosen to participate.
"It's a first-come approach. The girls that got their applications in first are the ones that will compete for the title," Reynolds says.
The girls have been practicing since the end of August, every Saturday for three hours.
"I love this," Reynolds says. "I have been doing it for 11 years. It's a lot of work but the girls are a lot of fun. It's wonderful to see the differences in the age groups and the personalities of each girl."
The girls don't only compete but develop friendships and social skills, Reynolds added.
"The bonds between these girls become very strong," she says. "It's great seeing the fifth graders take the younger girls under their wings and the friendships that develop."
Those doing the judging are from out of town and do not know the girls last names or who their parents are, Reynolds says.
"This is a very important component of the contest since we are looking at the girl's accomplishments and not who their family is or how well known the family is in the community," she added.
Twenty-girls will via for the title in the younger age groups, with 14 girls in the Junior Miss contest.
Mini Miss is grades kindergarten to second grade. Little Miss is grades third to fifth. Junior Miss is sixth to Eighth.
"The Mini Miss was filled in two-days," Reynolds said. "When you get to the Juniors, many of the girls have other activities, like sports and cheerleading that conflict with the contest."
The contest begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Mitchell High School auditorium, where preliminary judging is open to the public. The cost to watch the contest is $2 per person.
The queens will be crowned Monday night at 6 p.m. at the Main Street Stage.
One girl from each age group will be given the honor of Miss Congeniality. She receives a sash, a plaque, and flowers.
There are six princesses in each age group and they receive a sash, a plaque, and flowers
The queens receive the crown, sash, flowers, a plaque and a Persimmon necklace.
Each contestant receives a participation ribbon.
Helping make the contest possible are: Hardman's Heritage; Candi Davis Photograph; Second Time Around Gowns and Formal Consignment and Tux Rentals.
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