Miss Merry Christmas Pageant set

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Oct. 22 Miss Merry Christmas Pageant is almost here, andpageant organizers say they’re looking for participants who embodyboth the Christmas Spirit and pride in their community.

“It’s so early because we want to have her ready for theChristmas open houses on Saturday, Nov. 3,” said pageant organizerRita Rich, who also serves as the chairman of the Christmas parade.”We want to have her ready to participate in as many events as shecan.”

Kay Burton of the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commercesaid the pageant is open to young women who are in their senioryear of high school up to age 20. Applications can be picked up atthe chamber, and Burton said there are already several out.

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“We’re looking for a young lady who represents the spirit ofChristmas, and she needs to be available to be a hostess and anambassador at Christmas open houses, the Christmas parade, andother events of the season,” she said.

Rich said the pageant format is a little different than atraditional pageant.

“It’s a simple contest as far as girls are concerned,” she said.”They wear Sunday clothing – you know, just a dressy dress. Theydon’t need anything new or even Christmasy for that matter.”

She said the process also involves modeling.

“It really is just them walking more or less, to measure poiseand composure,” she said. “Then they will have a 10-minuteinterview with judges one on one. It’s nothing difficult, and thejudges can talk to them about Christmas and the season and thespirit of Christmas.”

Rich said since the reign of Miss Merry Christmas is as brief asthe season itself, the winner will be a busy girl from the first ofNovember to the end of December.

“Once they’re chosen, their main objective is to lead theChristmas parade, hostess at the open house, and we get theminvolved in any other activities they might like to participatein,” she said. “We’ve had great candidates in the past, and as faras the judges choosing, it’s always been hard for them to choose awinner.”

But pageant officials emphasize that the winner will be chosenon criteria besides physical beauty.

“We want someone who demonstrates the spirit of Christmas, andwho is friendly and outgoing and ready to meet people. She will beready to promote Brookhaven and the Chamber of Commerce as well,”said Rich.

The pageant was begun several years ago when Rich took over asthe chairman of the Christmas Parade.

“I started Miss Merry Christmas years ago when I took over theparade for the chamber,” she said. “I thought it would add somespice and give another young lady an opportunity to be promoted,and hopefully it would be an honor for her.”