Beauty pageants build confidence, teach poise and help children overcome fears of public speaking. They are also fun for both parents and children and can be quite lucrative as well. Many pageants give out cash awards as well as educational scholarships to the winners. There are many pageant opportunities for children residing in West Virginia. Some pageants in the state accept children as young as six months old! If you are just getting started in pageants, be aware that many pageants have entry fees as well as door fees to attend the event.
Pageants for Beginners
Pageants can be intimidating for the first-time contestant. There are some pageants that recognize this and work to help contestants become more comfortable with the pageant process. The My Royal Crown (myroyalcrown.com) beauty pageant is a perfect pageant for beginners. The pageant is for boys and girls ages 0 to 12. This pageant is a natural beauty pageant and forbids the use of any makeup other than lip gloss. There is also a ban on glitz, teeth flippers and hair pieces. Every contestant receives a prize. Another pageant that helps beginners is the Miss West Virginia American Coed Pageant (gocoed.com/westvirginia/). This pageant is open to state residents between the ages of 3 and 22. There are six age group categories of competition. The pageant promoters offer an optional workshop for contestants to prepare them for the pageant. This "Practice Makes Perfect Workshop" covers microphone use, interview skills and overcoming stage fright.
For those hoping to transition from local to national pageants, West Virginia has plenty to choose from. The Miss West Virginia Pageant Series is open to girls between the ages of 17 and 24. This pageant is an official preliminary pageant in the Miss America scholarship program. The series offers a Miss West Virginia Outstanding Teen Pageant (mwvot.org) for girls ages 13 to 17. Prizes are scholarship dollars and contestants compete in evening gown, fitness, talent and interview categories. The Rainbow Pageant promoters offer two different pageants in West Virginia, the Rhinestone Royalty (rhinestonebeauties internationals.webs.com/rhinestoneroyalty.htm) and Crystal Crown Pageants (no website; 304-263-1499). Both pageants have 11 age group divisions starting at 0 months and going up to 17 years old. Winners advance to the national contest level.
If you are looking for smaller local pageants, look no further than Petersburg. Petersburg, West Virginia, holds an annual West Virginia Beauties Pageant each year with age groups starting at 1 year old and going up to age 18. Petersburg is also the home of the Junior Miss West Virginia Pageant which is open to all 6th through 8th grade girls in the state. Winners of this pageant receive a crown, sash and a gift bag of goodies. There is also a Miss West Virginia High School Pageant (wvpageants.net) for older girls ages 15 through 18. This pageant is also held in Petersburg but is open to all state residents.
Residents in Logan can participate in the Miss West Virginia Freedom Festival (wvfreedomfestival.com/pageant/). This pageant offers 9 age groups starting at 6 months old up to 21 years of age. The winner receives a crown and sash and entry into the West Virginia Fairs and Festival Pageant (wvfreedomfestival.com/) in January of the following year. The city of Milton holds a Pumpkin Festival (no website; 304-736-2876) each August, with a beauty pageant open to both boys and girls. The pageant features two age groups, one for infants and toddlers and the other for older children up to age 12.