Heart of Dixie Pageant taking entries

Published 1:59 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2018


The 20th annual Heart of Dixie Pageant and Most Photogenic Contest benefitting the Jemison Blue Regiment Band is taking entries until Feb. 7, reeling in a roster for participants ages zero to 21 who will be competing for the 2018 Miss Dixie titles.

The event is scheduled for Feb. 24 at Jemison High School Auditorium, participants ages 0 to 11 competing at 10:30 a.m. and ages 12 to 21 competing at 3:30 p.m.

Pageant director Gillian Bittle, who is also co-president of the Jemison Band Boosters, said this year’s registration is extended to participants outside the county and even from “neighboring states.”

“If they are interested in coming, they are welcome to,” Bittle said.

Participants who win the Miss Dixie Queen and Collegiate Miss Dixie titles will each receive a scholarship as much as $250 and $500 respectively.

A brand-new “Pageant Sweetheart” title will be awarded to a single participant from each pageant who collects the most donations for the band.

Bittle described the pageant as a “starter pageant,” which provides a small taste of pageantry for young girls and women who may be considering competing at greater levels in the future.

Contestants in the Heart of Dixie Pageant and Most Photogenic Contest will be judged based on a 20-point scale for qualities such as confidence, general presence, poise and age-appropriate modest dress apparel.

Unlike upper level pageant requirements, participants will not perform talents or undergo interviews.

“The main goal is raising money for the band,” Bittle said of the event, “and this year, we’re having to purchase new marching uniforms.”

She said a secondary goal is “to have a fun, simple pageant that the ladies can practice at or simply enjoy for fun, if they’d like.”

On behalf of the 2018 Heart of Dixie Pageant and Most Photogenic Contest, Bittle thanks founders John and Janet Dennis, Doug and Suzanne Broadwater and Boyd and Tammy Littleton.

“I think it’s just really neat that we’ve been going for 20 years, and we have a good reputation in the community as a fun, well-run pageant — and it’s much due to what they set up,” Bittle said.

Entry fees are $55 for both the pageant and photogenic contest, $40 for the pageant only and $20 for the photogenic contest only.

Entry forms are available from a link posted on the Heart of Dixie Pageant Facebook page and can be submitted with the fees and a photo (if entering the photogenic contest) to Jemison Band Boosters, Heart of Dixie Pageant, P.O. Box 157, Jemison, AL 35085.

For more information about the Heart of Dixie Pageant and Most Photogenic Contest, please visit the Heart of Dixie Pageant Facebook page.