The directors and staff of the Arkansas State Fair Pageants and Youth Talent Contest have tirelessly derived a plan for a 2020 Virtual Competition. Continuing with a 92 year tradition, the competitions will proceed, but with a different twist. "Rather than a click of the heels or tap shoes, it will be a click of the mouse," states Assistant Director Matt Lloyd. The competition will include the following divisions: Miss Arkansas State Fair Queen, Junior Arkansas State Fair Queen, Ms. Arkansas State Fair Queen, Sr. Ms. Arkansas State Fair Queen, Senior Youth Talent and Junior Youth Talent. Following suit of previous years, the prize package will remain the same. "The Arkansas State Fair Pageants and Youth Talent Contest have great sponsors, allowing us to educate our State's youth. The team has met several times to develop our plans, with the virtual competition being the best resolution. Our main goal was to continue our scholarships but most importantly, doing so while keeping our kids safe," states Executive Director Joan Warren. Warren further stated, "we are blessed to award a grand total of over $120,000 in scholarships and cash prizes, due to some fabulous sponsorships." While COVID-19 has stilled many activities, the directors and staff are still continuing to eagerly seek new scholarships adding to the total for the 2020 virtual competition.
Each contestant will submit videos modeling their pageant attire or performing their talent number, whichever the case may be. Pageant interviews will be conducted through a zoom meeting. A deadline of submitting all videos has been set for September 18, 2020. Just as Santa does, the pageant and staff team will be checking their lists twice as the virtual competition will be a new adventure for everyone involved. "We appreciate the great efforts of the IT department as well as the support of the Administration and Board of Directors as we step off into the virtual world," states Warren.
A final crowning date, which will be conducted through Facebook live, has been tentatively scheduled for October 24, 2020. In addition, tentative plans for a youth pageant are being made for late January, early February of 2021. "We certainly do not want to omit our younger divisions, so we are making plans for their competitions with hope COVID -19 has vastly dissipated by this time." Paperwork and contest information has been released to the county and district directors, in addition to being placed on the Arkansas State Fair website. Executive Director Joan Warren said, "throughout the entire state, there are wonderful county and district directors who begin the support of the state's youth with their respective county and district competitions, with many of those competitions awarding great scholarships. Our team unanimously agreed a plan of action must take place for our traditions to stay alive which begins in our faithful counties." Each year, the Arkansas State Fair has 160 pageant contestants and over 250 talent contestants, each portraying their unique ability.
For more information, Executive Director Joan Warren may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org