Miss NL pageant re­turns in Jan­uary

SPLASH Cen­tre to host event cel­e­brat­ing 60th an­niver­sary in early 2017

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The Miss New­found­land and Labrador pageant will re­turn to Har­bour Grace early next year. The event typ­i­cally hap­pens dur­ing the an­nual Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Fall Fair, but or­ga­niz­ers have a new venue and date in place. They’re also hop­ing to at­tract plenty of con­tes­tants be­tween now and Jan­uary.

Peo­ple look­ing over the sched­ule for the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Fall Fair back in Septem­ber may have no­ticed one event was miss­ing.

The Miss New­found­land and Labrador Pageant tra­di­tion­ally co­in­cides with that event in Har­bour Grace. But in 2016, that didn’t hap­pen. So in­stead, or­ga­niz­ers are gear­ing up for a pageant in Jan­uary that will also mark its 60th an­niver­sary.

Ac­cord­ing to Wendy Pen­ney and Judy McCarthy, two re­turn­ing mem­bers of the eight-per­son com­mit­tee look­ing af­ter the pageant, the tran­si­tion from S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium to the new Danny Cleary Com­mu­nity Cen­tre fac­tored into the de­ci­sion not to hold it dur­ing this year’s fall fair.

The fair did take place at the old sta­dium in 2016 and fea­tured sev­eral other pageants. Sta­dium man­ager Mike Adam told The Com­pass in May that the fall fair would be hap­pen­ing at S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium.

De­cid­ing to change- up venues, the pageant will in­stead go ahead Jan. 21, 2017 at The SPLASH Cen­tre in Har­bour Grace.

“We tried to keep it within the town of Har­bour Grace,” ex­plained Wendy. “It’s tra­di­tion­ally been here. We met with the town, and they were OK with us com­ing out of the arena, but had hoped we’d keep it in the Town of Har­bour Grace.”

Judy said the cen­tre, which is housed in a for­mer school, fits nicely with the com­mit­tee’s plans for the pageant.

“The fa­cil­ity it­self is just awe­some,” she said. “We’ve got the gym, the au­di­to­rium. That’s all here.”

Splash Cen­tre ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Mag­gie Snow has also come on board to serve with the pageant com­mit­tee.

“It’s a good part­ner­ship for us,” Mag­gie told The Com­pass. “It’s good ex­po­sure, and it’s nice to get in­volved with more town things, be­cause we’ve had a big push on com­mu­nity in­volve­ment and com­mu­nity sup­port, so it fits right in with what we’re do­ing. So I think it’s mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial for all par­ties.”

In the lead up to Jan­uary’s big event, or­ga­niz­ers have ap­proached spon­sors and are also get­ting the word out to po­ten­tial pageant con­tes­tants. Kate­lyn Gal­way and Ni­cole Thomas, the two youngest mem­bers of the pageant com­mit­tee, are work­ing hard to at­tract ap­pli­cants, with the dead­line set for Dec. 10.

With the evening pageant event hap­pen­ing on a Satur­day in­stead of Sun­day, the stay in Har­bour Grace will be a lit­tle bit shorter than usual for con­tes­tants, who will still ar­rive in town on the Fri­day as they did in pre­vi­ous years. Or­ga­niz­ers hope this will en­cour­age more women to take part.

“We kind of short­ened that up be­cause the girls are uni- ver­sity stu­dents,” Wendy said. “Tak­ing time out of their sched­ule seemed to be a kind of de­ter­rent in the past.”

As for the 60th an­niver­sary as­pect of the event, or­ga­niz­ers hope to have as many past Miss New­found­land and Labradors on hand as pos­si­ble.

We­blink: https:// www. face­book. com/ Miss- New­found­land-and-Labrador-Pageant-20585530628/

TC ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Me­lanie Barnes of Con­cep­tion Bay South claimed the Miss New­found­land and Labrador ti­tle last year in Har­bour Grace.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/TC ME­DIA

Mem­bers of the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee for the Miss New­found­land and Labrador pageant in Har­bour Grace are, from the left, Ni­cole Thomas, Wendy Pen­ney, Mag­gie Snow, Judy McCarthy and Kate­lyn Gal­way. Miss­ing from the pic­ture are fel­low com­mit­tee mem­bers Denise Blake, Jean Haire and Erika Pardy.

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