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Pageant showcases Franklin County beauties

Saturday was the Franklin County Watermelon Beauty Pageant, and some of the prettiest and sweetest girls in Franklin County were on display.

For many girls, pageant competitions are a cornerstone of their childhood years. Perhaps few of the girls from Saturday will go on to compete in pageants throughout the years; for some, it might have been a one-and-done experience. 

Others however, just might be the next Madeline Mitchell Gwin, going on to represent Russellville and Franklin County on the national and global stages. 

My childhood didn’t include pageants. They weren’t “a thing” for my parents, and I guess I never expressed any interest in them myself. As a matter of fact, I think Saturday was only the third or fourth pageant I ever even attended as a spectator. 

But even in my limited experience with pageant-going, I could tell it was special day for the girls participating. From those just a few months old – the Baby Miss category – all the way up to those young women vying to be crowned Watermelon Queen, these girls were eager to strut their stuff, wave big, smile big, twirl and blow kisses. 

OK, only the sweet littles blew kisses – and it was adorable.

It’s great that the chamber gives these girls and young women a special way to get involved in their communities. Each one has now, if never before, stepped out of a small bubble into the wider world of the community they call home. The queens of each category will be presented at the Watermelon Festival and be part of making the annual summer event the treasured tradition that it is here in Franklin County. In that sense, the pageant is one more way to get people to take pride in their community, to take ownership and to step up and be part of something. 

I might have never been into pageants – but I’m into that. 

Congratulations to the winners and to all participants in Saturday’s pageant!