A pageant is a beauty contest for children or adults during which competitors are judged on their looks, personality and, sometimes, interview questions or talents. Winners of local and state pageants can take home thousands of dollars in cash, prizes and scholarships and be eligible for other state and national competitions. The southern states are well known for hosting beauty pageants, and Alabama has many to choose from.
The Miss Alabama Pageant has been held every year since 1939. The pageant takes place in Birmingham. Each potential contestant must first win a local title, such as Miss West Central Alabama or Miss Samford University. Contests are required to submit a resume, essay and photographs. They are also required do raise money for the Children's Miracle Network. The winner of the pageant goes on to compete at the Miss America pageant.
Miss Heart of America
The Miss Heart of America Pageant focuses on giving back to the community and is actually a food drive. The pageant collects non-perishable food donations for local charities, such as the March of Dimes and local food banks. This family-friendly event is open to girls and women of all ages. The winner of the state pageant will take home a cash prize of $3,000 and will go on to the national Miss Heart of America pageant.
Sunburst Beauty Pageant and Baby Model Contest
Sunburst Beauty Pageant is open to girls of all ages and the Sunburst Baby Model Contest is open to boys and girls up to age 3. the contests are held several times per year throughout Alabama. The pageant does not require interviews or a talent and makeup for children under age 6 is strongly discouraged. Judging is based on looks and personality. Each contestant receives a trophy and crown. Winners of both the pageant and baby contest will win cash and prizes, including a photo shoot with a Chicago-based fashion photographer. They will also be evaluated for future fashion, print and film work.
The Southern Stars pageants are local events that are held several times per year in Tuscaloosa. The pageant is open to girls of all age. Southern Stars caters to more natural-looking girls and does not allow excessive pageant makeup, fake eyelashes or flippers (fake teeth). Contestants are not required to be residents of the state of Alabama, so everyone is welcome to compete. Winners will compete in the National Southern Stars Pageant, which is held in July.
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