New beauty pageant to debut at fair

Angie Mayes • Updated Jul 28, 2018 at 9:00 AM

There’s a new pageant in town and this year, organizer Stephanie Hollis McCaleb hopes it will bring out the best of Wilson County.

The Ms. Wilson County Fair pageant will be one of the highlights of the pageant activities. And reaching out to the community and showcasing causes and the queen is important to McCaleb.

McCaleb, a Lebanon native, began participating in pageant when she was a young girl. She continued to participate throughout college, marriage and as a single woman. Eventually, she opened her own business, coaching girls and doing make-up and dress sessions.

In the past, she has directed the Miss Fall Festival pageant, a fundraising event held at Fiddlers Grove. Then, she teamed with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office to raise money for the SCAN program. The effort raised $2,500 and had more than 5,000 items donated by members of the community.

McCaleb said she wants the community to get involved with the pageant and looks for girls who have community involvement. She wants to give the participants something to work toward and to be civic minded.

McCaleb is Ms. Smith County and started the Ms. Wilson County Fair pageant for those married, single or divorced from 21-50 years old.

“This is a little different than the fair pageants,” she said. “This is for everyone from the experienced participant to the first-timer.

“We’ll have a day Aug. 12, where we can go through the pageant, showing them what to do, allowing them to walk in their evening gown and answer a question.”

Those interested in the pageant can enter on the Wilson County Fair website or in person Aug. 12 when registration takes place.

The pageant will use a scoring system to determine the winner, much like other pageants.

As far as the number of people who will take part, McCaleb isn’t sure who will participate.

“I don’t have a goal,” McCaleb said. “I just threw this together last at the last minute. But I’ve had a lot of interest from our Facebook page. I’d like to involve those who have community involvement [in their past], not just choose someone with a pretty face and gown.
After the pageant, the queen will participate in various fair activities. This can be as little or as much as they can do, she said. They will also attend meetings and other fair-related activities throughout the year.

There is no state competition, yet, she said.

“We’re not taking it in that direction at this point,” McCaleb said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

The pageant will take place Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Wilson County Expo Center at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center at 945 Baddour Pkwy. in Lebanon.

Online registration will continue through July 31 and in-person registration will take place Aug. 12 from 1-4 p.m. at the Expo Center. The cost is $30 and must accompany the registration. If registering Aug. 12, participants pay in cash.

For rules and other information, visit the Ms. Wilson County Fair Pageant page on Facebook.

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