CHARLESTON — This weekend is the time to shine for young ladies representing fairs and festivals from across the state, including here in Mason County.
This year’s West Virginia Association of Fairs and Festivals Pageant started yesterday and continues through Saturday at the Charleston Civic Center and Municipal Auditorium.
Four of the 86 contestants competing are Mary Grace Workman, 2015 Mason County Fair Queen, Maggie Criste, 2015 Point Pleasant Battle Days Queen, and Katlynn McKinney, who will be representing the 2015 Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta.
Also, Madison Barker, of Mason County, will be representing the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival in Milton. Again, these young ladies will be competing against contestants representing various fairs and festivals from throughout the state.
The pageant consists of three areas of competition, including Event Promotion, Personal Interview and Evening Gown. Saturday evening is the big night and will culminate in the crowning of the 2016 West Virginia Fairs and Festivals Queen who will reign over the West Virginia State Fair in Lewisburg.
Workman will be accompanied by Aimee Stein and Andrea Henderson, pageant directors of the Mason County Fair Queen Pageant, some past fair queens and family, as well as representatives of Ohio Valley Bank, and the pageant committee. Criste will be accompanied by friends and family members as well. McKinney will be accompanied by Jessica Willett, pageant director, members of the Regatta committee and many friends and family. Barker will be accompanied by family and friends as well as her pageant directors, Lisa Templeton and Marilyn Haye.
The following is an itinerary of event competition:
Friday, Jan. 8:
Event Promotion Competition: This is the first phase of competition and will be conducted on Friday afternoon. During this competition, contestants are judged on natural beauty, poise and presentation. Contestants will also be judged by giving a 30-second timed presentation about their event.
Saturday, Jan. 9:
Judges Interviews: This is the second phase of competition. Each contestant will be interviewed by a panel of judges. At this time, the judges will consider poise, personality and natural beauty. Evening gown competition: This is the third phase of competition. Judging is based on poise, personality and natural beauty.
Then, the competition is narrowed down to 15 semifinalists from the tabulations of the three competitions (event promotion, interview, and evening gown). These semi-finalists will be chosen and interviewed from their fact sheets.
There is a Saturday night-only ticket for $25 per person for anyone wishing to attend the night evening gown competition. This ticket is for balcony seating only. The tickets will only be sold at the box office on Saturday. Doors will open at the Charleston Civic Center at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Portions of this article contributed by Aimee Stein, co-director of the Mason County Fair Queen Pageant.