A day of rapid-fire pageants next weekend will raise money for a good cause while teaching girls new skills.
The Miss Pioneer Way pageant will take place June 25 at Christ the King Community Church in Oak Harbor.
Anyone identifying as female from the ages of 0-14 who has visited Pioneer Way in the last year may participate. Pageant Director River Powers said the event will continue accepting registrations through Wednesday, June 22. Participation is limited to 10 girls per age group.
The Miss Pioneer Way pageant is an annual event that began in 2016, put on by the Miss Oak Harbor nonprofit organization. The pageant is a fundraiser for the Miss Oak Harbor royalty’s service project; this year, Miss Oak Harbor, her princesses and the teen royalty will be participating in a service project through the Whidbey Institute, a transformational learning organization on the South End, Powers said.
Pageant participants will all compete in one of seven age groups. The girls will receive training in stage presence and how to introduce themselves, learn and perform a dance to “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” give a personal introduction and answer a question from the judges. Participants may wear whatever kind of clothing they like, so long as it adheres to the “patriotic” theme.
Pageant contestants will be judged on their stage presence and how well their personality comes through on stage. The top two winners in each age group will get to ride on a float with Miss Oak Harbor in the Fourth of July parade.
The pageant is an all natural contest, meaning contestants are not allowed to wear makeup. Powers said the Miss Pioneer Way pageant and the Miss Oak Harbor organization are not about appearances; they are about empowering girls and women and teaching them skills that will be valuable in their futures.
“We are breaking the stereotype of what pageants are,” Powers said. “Anybody can actually win. It doesn’t matter what you look like.”