In the midst of several pageants springing up in McDuffie County, a discontinued one is soon to be making a comeback.
The Miss McDuffie Pageant began in the 1960s but didn't last long, according to local historian Rusty Lovelace. Now the McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce and the organizer of the Miss Thomson High Pageant are working to resurrect the pageant under a new name.
On June 17, the first-ever Miss Camellia and Miss Camellia Teen will be crowned at the Thomson High School auditorium. This year's pageant will be a trial-run to see if next year's Miss Camellia Pageant can apply to feed into the Miss Georgia and Miss America Pageants.
"This is like a 'look-see' year to see what all it takes before we franchise," said Jennifer McCall, the pageant's organizer. "So it would be like Miss Augusta, but it would be for our community."
The new pageant got underway because of Ms. McCall's involvement in organizing the Miss Thomson High Pageant as well as her participation in pageants while growing up. She said they added so much to her life that she wanted to help provide the same opportunity to McDuffie County's young ladies.
"When I did them when I was younger, it just taught me so much about self-confidence and communication skills," Ms. McCall said. "I think that contributed to a lot of young ladies becoming good leaders."
The senior division will be for ladies 18 to 23. Contestants can be 17 if they are recent high school graduates. The Miss Camellia Teen Pageant will be for girls 13 to 17.
"It's looking like a great project," Ms. McCall said. "We're just starting out brand new, so hopefully it will go well."
The entry fee is $100. Entry forms and contest rules can be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce office in the Thomson Depot, Thomson Middle, Thomson High, Briarwood or downloaded here. Forms are due to the Chamber office by May 12.
Interested contestants are asked to meet with the pageant's organizers on April 24 in Thomson High Room 405 at 4 p.m. Anyone interested in helping with the pageant can contact Ms. McCall at Thomson High, 706-986-4200 ext. 5271.