By Jon Michael Walton
The annual Tri Lakes Pageant for St. Jude is a nonprofit event that grows substantially each year and offers divisions for boys, girls and women of every age, size and disability.
This year’s pageant will take place Feb. 23-24 at the Water Valley Civic Auditorium on 904 N. Main St. With over 100 contestants in 2018, organizers said this year’s pageant will be even bigger.
The entry fee for each division is $35, and those interested should aim to turn applications in by Feb. 2. However, Shannon Thweatt, co-director of the pageant, said the organization will accept applications after that date.
Extra entry fees are exclusive to optional submissions such as photogenic, peoples’ choice and ultimate queen. For photogenic submissions, a fee of $10 for each photo is required, as well as a $5 fee for each additional photo submitted.
Fees are encouraged to be paid before the due date in order for supplies to be ordered beforehand (crowns, trophies etc.) Donations for St. Jude will be accepted without refund. Dresses can also be given as donations; the most needed are kids’ and plus sizes.
This year, pageant directors are hosting an award opportunity for local businesses. Contest entry includes a $50 entry fee and a small gift for the ultimate queen category. Each business will place a donation jar for the public, and the business with the most proceeds will be deemed the pageant’s business choice of the year.
“What sets us apart from other pageants is that we do not take any money from this pageant. One hundred percent of the profit goes straight to the production of the pageant and to St. Jude… We raised $6,000 last year, and we hope to raise $10,000 this year,” Thweatt said.
Other new additions to this year’s event is the appearance of Queen Elsa, star of Disney’s “Frozen,” who will be meeting with children Feb. 23, and a Facebook photo contest. For the photo contest, contestants or parents are to submit photos of themselves and/or children. Details for this particular contest can be found directly on the “4th Annual Tri Lakes Pageant for St. Jude” Facebook event page.
Applications and answers regarding all other inquiries can be found by emailing Shannon Thweatt at email@example.com. Contestants are encouraged to print their applications and set up a meeting time for submission.
Pageant rehearsal will be Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. until noon at the Water Valley Civic Auditorium. The pageant for ages 0-12 will begin at 2 p.m. that day. The adult pageant will be held the following day, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. Public admission is $5.
Shannon Thweatt: 662-816-0032
Callie Odom: 662-709-0731
Sherron Savage: 662-202-4630
Shan Carrasco: 662-714-6810
Hair and makeup team:
Kelli Coleman (662) 638-9777
Michelle Norris (662) 707-0030
Kostacia Wilson 662-610-6267
Dalton Bryant 662-609-8583 (adults only)