New rules coming for Virginia Peanut Festival Beauty Pageant

July might seem early to bring up the Virginia Peanut Festival Beauty Pageant but it’s not, especially with the events planned for this event.

This year the pageant will be completely different. There will be more categories, hopefully a scholarship for Miss Virginia Peanut and much more. But if the college students have any chance of winning a scholarship, sponsors and businesses would have to come forward.

Emporia-Greensville is known throughout Virginia as a community that steps up to the plate when there is a need. The pageant coordinator hopes that our local businesses, individuals and clubs will continue that long tradition and see the Pageant Scholarship as a worthy cause and help bring back the pageant to the glory of older days.

This year the deadline to enter the Sept. 18 pageant is Aug. 20. It will be the first pageant under the direction of Teresa Ferguson and she wants plenty of time to plan the event and hopefully draw more contestants and a larger audience to watch the event, which will be held at Greensville County High School.

Decades ago women all over Virginia competed for the title of Miss Virginia Peanut Festival. It was a very prestigious title but in the past few years only younger children have entered the pageant. Ferguson hopes to change that.

“Our goal is to not only recognize the outer beauty of each contestant but also the inner beauty,” she said “This pageant will give each contestant the opportunity to develop their self-confidence, sharpen qualities of character, poise and showcase talent; while forming lasting friendships with the contestants and the community.”

The categories will showcase “so much more than beauty,” she said, noting that the formal wear will showcase the girl’s beauty and poise; the casual wear will showcase personality and character, the “When I Grow Up” will showcase creativity and dreams for the future and other optional categories such as talent will showcase the contestants’ confidence and individual ability to perform and capture the audience and bring out their emotions, she said.

“We also hope that you are able to discover a little something about yourself that makes you all the more special,” Ferguson said about the contestants.

She stressed that deadlines are in place for applications, program information, sponsorship information and more. “These deadlines are not flexible to ensure that we have an organized and successful pageant,” Ferguson said, noting that the $50 entry fee is non-refundable.

There are several age divisions: Baby Miss Peanut and Baby Master Peanut, newborn-23 months; Tiny Miss Peanut, Tiny Master Peanut, 2-3 years old; Little Miss Peanut, Little Master Peanut, 4-5 years old; Young Miss Peanut, Young Master Peanut, 6-7 years old; Miss Junior Peanut, 8-10 years old; Miss Pre-Teen Peanut, 11-12 years old; Miss Teen Peanut, 13-15 years old; Miss Peanut Princess 16-18 years old; and Miss Peanut Queen 19-23 years old (must be a student).

The Over-All Princess will be the overall female contestant with the next to the highest score and the Over-All Queen and King will be the overall female and male with the highest scor . Overall winners cannot be Title Winners in a category, Ferguson pointed out.

There will be Formal Wear, Casual Wear, Photogenic,  Sponsor Award, People Choice and extra categories for all contestants. “When I Grow Up” will be for age 2-up; Platform, age 16-up, Ultimate Peanut, ages 15-under and talent, two years old and up.

During the “When I Grow Up” category contestants should model in an outfit or costume showing what they want to be when they grow up. “This category requires lots of creativity and passion,” Ferguson pointed out. “Props are permitted but keep in mind that they have to be carried on and off in one trip on/off stage. We will have an assistant that can help if needed but please be mindful.”

For the Most Photogenic category all photos must be submitted in a 5×7 or 8×10 frame with an easel back. They will be on display on the day of the pageant and can be retrieved after the event. The photo does not have to be a professional photograph.

She went on to say that extra categories include Prettiest Smile, Prettiest Eyes, Prettiest Dress, Miss/Mister Personality and Miss/Mister Creativity. Miss Congeniality will be awarded as an Overall accompanied with a trophy and will be chosen by the backstage/dressing room assistants.

Optional categories include Platform, which is tailored for ages 16-up. This category is to showcase young ladies entering into the community, workplace and college as an opportunity to let their voices be heard. To present themselves in a professional manner and bring topics to the community that need to be heard. This category will require the contestant to speak briefly.

Those in the Platform category will be eligible for the scholarship if businesses/individuals step up as sponsors. “This category is not mandatory but highly suggested that you participate to be eligible for the scholarships,” Ferguson said.

The Ultimate Peanut Award  category is tailored to ages 15-under. This category is to give the opportunity to not only showcase your artistic and creative abilities but to let us see our community, our farmers / farming industry and peanuts through your eyes.

In the Talent category you can showcase your theatrical side.  Any instrument or background music by CD or props are to be provided by you. Your performance is limited to three minutes and dress appropriately for your talent.

“To make this event as successful as can be we do need sponsors so a Sponsorship Award is presented. This isn’t mandatory but will help with the expenses of the venue, programs, and awards to make the 2016 pageant as successful as can be. More detailed information will be on the Sponsor Form in this packet,” she said.

The People’s Choice Award  category is for the audience to purchase votes for their choice as well as all proceeds from the purchases will be donated to the foundation chosen by the Winner of the Platform Category in their honor. These votes will be $1 per vote and there is no limit as to how many can be purchased by an individual.

For more information contact Ferguson at: vapeanutpgnt@yahoo,com or call (434) 632-9462 (voicemail until after 5 p.m.)


Featured Photo: Teresa Welsh/Independent-Messenger

Caroline Rideout is crowned Baby Miss at last year’s Peanut Festival Pageant. This year’s pageant will feature some new rules.

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