One night, weeks of preparation

Published 7:54 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A couple dozen Junior Miss Peach hopefuls strutted across the stage, fine-tuning the pageant routine as their mothers looked on Monday night.

Although the pageant itself lasts an evening, the festivities surrounding it go on for two weeks, and the preparation for it can take over two months.

Missy Early, mother of a contestant, said she often begins preparing for the pageant two months before it is held.

The girls have to find a dress, shoes and accessories, casual wear, makeup, order flowers and make sure they have a tan.

Although the preparation is hard work, the girls enjoy being involved in the pageant.

“It’s something she enjoys whether she places or not,” Early said.

Early said she is relieved once she sees her daughter on stage, because she knows all the preparation is over.

All of the preparation and practice take time.

The girls enjoy the pageant to the extent that they are willing to give up other activities to participate.

“My daughter had to give up travel ball,” Crystal Niece, another mom, said.

A flurry of activities surrounds the pageant, including a pool party, passing out flyers at local produce vendors, rehearsals, the Peach Jam and the parade.

“It’s a good two weeks you stay busy,” Early said.

The Miss Peach pageants keep the girls busy, but give them opportunities at the same time.

Niece said her daughter, Christian, makes new friends during the pageant weeks.

The pageant also boosts the girls’ confidence and gain practice speaking in front of people.