Miss Strawberry Pageant sign ups approaching in Chilton

Published 4:32 pm Thursday, January 4, 2024

By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Chilton County is getting ready for the 2024 Miss Strawberry Pageant that will crown four new queens to represent the strawberry farmers of the county. Pageant director Janie Ellison said the growth the pageant and the festival that follows it has had the last few years had been the best thing about it.

“The growth that we have seen in the county with the strawberry farmers (is great), and our festival gets bigger every year,” Ellison said. “I feel like when we started this festival and our queen program it really did bring a lot of attention to the strawberry farmers, and that is what I like is that we are doing justice for our farmers.”

Sign-up sheets were sent to all of the schools in Chilton County, C&C Trophy in Clanton and the Thorsby City Hall on Jan. 4 to open the recruitment for the pageant. All of the information for prospective contestants in the pageants can be found on the sign-up sheets. They can also be found on the Miss Strawberry Queens of Chilton County Facebook page, and the website at https://chiltoncountystrawberryfestival.org/.

Pageant sign ups are on Jan. 28 from 2-4 p.m. at Jefferson State Community College Chilton-Clanton Campus, which will be a drop-in event for contestants. The 2024 Miss Strawberry Queen Pageant is on March 9 at Jefferson State Community College Chilton-Clanton Campus.

Ellison said the relationship that the queens have with the strawberry farmers in the county is a special one, and if there is anything the queens can do to help them that they are more than willing to. Also, the new queens who will be crowned this year will get the opportunity to work with some of the strawberry farmers firsthand to see what they do on a day-to-day basis.

“We have picked strawberries in the past and they have been to the festival, but they have never been up at 4 a.m. and been to the market when that is what they need to see,” Ellison said. “I think (the farmers) really appreciate having somebody that rallies for their specific crop.”

The price is $80 to enter the pageant, with Little Miss Strawberry ages five to eight, Young Miss Strawberry ages nine to 12, Junior Miss Strawberry ages 13 to 15 and Miss Strawberry ages 16 to 19. There will also be cash prizes up for grabs in this year’s pageant with Miss earning $1,000, Junior Miss earning $500, Young Miss earning $250 and Little Miss earning $250.