COTR pageants kick off today

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 6, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Forty-one contests will take the stage at the Demopolis Civic Center tonight vying for the title of Miss Christmas on the River.

A pageant of legacy, young ladies have vied for the title for almost 30 years.

Ann Parsons, who chaired the pageant in years past, said the first COTR pageant was the Miss COTR pageant in 1978. She said throughout the years the pageant has grown to include various age groups as it has grown in popularity.

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Parsons said the pageant became so popular that limitations on the number of contestants were set.

Parsons said because of time restraints the pageant was narrowed down.

She said each year the pageant continues to be a popular event.

Katie Echols, chairperson for this year&8217;s Miss COTR pageant, said this year will continue the tradition of years past with young ladies in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 competing for the title.

Echols said in honor of tradition, the winner of Miss COTR and her court will serve as representatives and spokesperson throughout the week of COTR.

The pageant, which will begin at 7 p.m. tonight, includes an interview, an evening gown and a question and answer segment.

Judges selected from outside the pageant area will conduct the interview segment of the pageant, which is sponsored by the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce. Following the interviews, the pageant process will begin, Echols said, with 41 contestants judged and the top 20 selected. She said the evening gown competition would be judged on poise and appearance. The top 20 contestants will be narrowed down to the top 10, when the question and

the answer segment will begin. From there, Echols said three runners up will be selected and act as the court for Miss COTR.

James Spann, chief meteorologist for ABC 33-40 of Birmingham, will be the master of ceremonies. Spann has served in this capacity for many years, Echols said.

Portraits will be taken of the winners and a $100 savings bond will be awarded to the winners.

Courtney Willingham, Miss COTR 2006, will crown the winning contestant, Miss COTR 2007.

The Miss COTR is the first pageant in a series of pageants throughout the week.

The Miss Junior COTR pageant will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 8 and is for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. The division has 32 contestants vying for the title. Van Kelley of Demopolis will be the master of the ceremony for all remaining pageants. Jordan Cramer, Miss Jr. COTR 2006, will crown this year&8217;s winner.

The Young Miss COTR pageant will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 9 and is for third, fourth and fifth graders. Victoria Webb, Young Miss COTR 2006, will crown this year&8217;s winning contestant.

The Little Miss COTR Pageant will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 10 and is for kindergarten, first and second graders. This contestant is always a full contestant, Echols said. Sally Mackey, Little Miss COTR 2006, will crown the winning contestant.

Tickets for the all events will be on sale at the door of the Demopolis Civic Center and are $3 for an adult and $2 for children.