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FAIR TIME: Deadline nears for pageant entries

2012's Fairest of the Fair winner Lauren Tyrell is surrounded by her fellow contestents.

The 2013 Williamson County Fair will be here before you know it, and that means so too will the pageants.

This year’s Miss Williamson County Fair and all of her “misses” will be crowned Aug. 4 on the Main Stage inside the air-conditioned Ag Expo center. The seven categories include three baby ones open to both girls and boys: one for babies 0-12 months, another for those 12-24 months of age and one for toddlers, ages 2 and 3.

Rounding out the competition – sorry, no boys allowed -- are the Petite Miss (ages 4 to 6), Little Miss (7 to 9), Junior Miss (10-12), Teen Miss (13 to 15) and the title pageant, Fairest of the Fair (16 to 21, after Dec. 31, 2013).

Last year’s Fairest of the Fair title went to Lauren Tyrell of Thompson Station.

“It’s been really cool,” said the Columbia State Community College sophomore who’s pursuing an education degree. One of her favorite experiences has been to be a role model to younger girls, “(to) be able to reach out to them in many different ways, as a titleholder and as a youth group leader and as a leader in general,” she explained.

Tyrell has represented Williamson County at events such as  the Franklin Christmas Parade. She hopes to one day go to Ethiopia to help at an orphanage there after her reign is done.

Though they are encouraged to wear dressy clothes, pageant rules prohibit the youngest contestants from wearing rhinestones, sequins or makeup. All Baby, Petite Miss, Little Miss and Junior Miss  contestants must adhere to the rules.

Only Teen Miss and Fairest of the Fair may wear makeup and formal pageant wear.

“Because it’s a fair we want girls who look like little girls,” pageant chairwoman Suzanne Ware explained. “We get pageant girls too, but we get real girls that just want to walk across the stage and feel like a princess.”

Ware and the pageant organizers try to make that feeling a reality, giving each contestant a rose and a rhinestone crown.

All winners will receive a banner, a crown, a trophy and represent the fair at public events. Petite, Little, Junior and Teen Miss winners will receive $25, with $20 prizes for second place and $10 for third.

All contestants in each category are scored on their poise, personality, class, beauty and overall appearance.

The young woman crowned Fairest of the Fair wins an opportunity to compete at the Tennessee State Fair in January, along with room and board for the event and $200 for expenses. Unlike the younger categories, the Fairest of the Fair pageant will include an interview portion that counts for 25 percent of the total score.

Tyrell hopes this year’s winner will seize the same opportunity she did.

“I would tell her just reach out to every young girl she can, and encourage them to be the best leader she can be,” she said.

Sharon Puckett will again emcee the event.

Each of the pageants has a $20 entry fee and entry forms must be mailed to Williamson County Fair Pageants., P.O. Box 329, Franklin, TN 37065 by Wednesday, July 31. Entry Forms can be found here, or at the UT Agricultural Extension Office in the Ag EXPO Park

The Baby Contest participants need to arrive by 3 p.m. on Aug. 4. The 0-12 month old competition will begin at 3:30 p.m. followed by the 12- to 24-month-old and the 2- to 3-year-old categories.

Little, Junior and Teen Miss contestants should arrive by 4:30 p.m., with the contests starting at 5:30 p.m.

Petite Miss and Fairest of the Fair contestants should arrive by 6:30 p.m. with the pageants starting at 7:30 p.m.

Admission to watch the pageants is included with fair admission.

The 9th annual Williamson County Fair opens Friday, Aug. 2, for a nine-day run. Complete fair information can be found by clicking here.

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