SIKESTON -- The 13th Annual Winter Princess Scholarship Pageant, a preliminary to Miss Missouri and Miss America, is set for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Albritton-Mayer Cultural Center in Sikeston.
New to this year's pageant is reserved seating only.
"Due to large crowds and limited seating, the scholarship pageant board members agreed the best way to accommodate our large audience is to sell the tickets in advance," noted Vivian Johnson, a spokesperson for the pageant.
Each contestant will have the opportunity to purchase tickets with their entry forms, and remaining tickets will be available at the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce office.
Johnson noted the high interest in the pageant is due to the fact that this is the largest scholarship program for women in the world with the Miss America organization makes $30 million in scholarships available each year.
"Sikeston has been giving $1,000 in scholarships the past few years and is made possible by a lot of generous community supporters," Johnson said.
Sikeston hosts an open pageant, and all women in Missouri ages 17-24 are invited to compete in interview, swimsuit, talent, evening wear and new this year is casual wear with onstage questioning.
Running simultaneously with the pageant will be the Young Miss for girls in the eighth and ninth grades and Junior Miss for ladies in grades 10-12.
"The winner of these qualify for the state pageant and we hope will gain a wealth of experience and have fun," Johnson said.
Entry forms are available at Sikeston Junior High School or Sikeston Senior High School and the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce office.
This year's Sikeston titleholder and alternate will receive scholarships to the school of their choice. The new titleholder will represent Sikeston at Miss Missouri this June in Mexico, Mo., where she will compete for thousands of dollars in scholarships.
"Sikeston is one of about 30 cities in Missouri that offer this scholarship and opportunity," Johnson noted. "Winning a local pageant like ours is the only way a young woman can go to Miss Missouri or Miss America."
For more information call Johnson at 471-7833 or Christy McDowell at 471-9192.