Pageant doesn’t happen by itself

Published 12:10 pm Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Franklin-Southampton County Fair is annually graced with the contest and crowning of pageant royalty. Ladies ranging from Kindergarten age through young adulthood present their best selves in the hope of being able to honorably represent the Fair and Western Tidewater. But all that doesn’t come about by some mystical force.

It happens by the work of people dedicated to presenting the event and, more importantly, serving the area.

“We’re all about giving back to the community,” said Janet Joyner and Renee Warren, two women who head the committee for the Little Miss pageant; Joyner oversees the group for the Queen’s Contest.

Playing bingo at The Village at Woods Edge, organizing food drives and Easter egg hunts, participating in the holiday parade and placing wreaths at the veterans cemetery in Suffolk are among the regular activities.

“We usually do something each month,” the women said.

The competitions also feature scholarships. Each fair queen receives $750 after her reign has ended; that goes to her college or university. The winners in each category of the Little Miss contest get $1,000 in cash. The money is chiefly generated from how much is raised. The girls ask for $5 per signature put around a picture. Sponsorships are also sought.

The committee also decided to create the new Ms. Category; the winner will receive $200.

The pageant begins with the Tiny Tots contest at 5 p.m., followed by the Little Miss pageant at 6 p.m., and culminates with the Queen’s Contest at 8 p.m. All this will be on the Main Stage at the Fairgrounds.

Joyner and Wrenn said a tribute to the late Tony “DJ ToeKnee” Longoria, a popular DJ at the time of his sudden passing last October.

For people interested in participating with the committee or sponsoring the pageants, contact Joyner at 334-2171.