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Tomato Festival Queen competition to see changes
Like the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival, this year's festival queen competition will see changes as well.
Though once thought of as a pageant, the Queen's Court competition now will focus more on finding an ambassador to represent Reynoldsburg.
Once applications are received, contestants will pre-interview with three judges. On the day of the competition, Aug. 15, the contestants will be introduced and narrowed down to five finalists, said Robin Baker, chairperson of the Queen Court and Princess Contest committee.
Those finalists then will answer one additional question on stage in front of the audience and three different judges. From the five contestants, the judges will determine the winner, along with the first and second attendants.
This year, the committee also will offer a scholarship to the top three placers, which will be awarded at the end of their reigns.
The queen will receive a $300 scholarship, with the first and second runner-ups receiving $200 and $100, respectively.
"They will still get their crown and their sash and the opportunity to represent Reynoldsburg in many different settings," Baker said.
The changes in the competition reflect an overall sweeping change of the Tomato Festival - sending it back to its roots.
"We were trying to bring it back, trying to make sure the so-called pageant wasn't a pageant based on looks or activities that don't necessarily make the best ambassador," Baker said. "You don't have to have a certain type of talent. You just have to be proud of your city."
The festival also will name a Little Princess and first attendant, with the winners' named pulled from a hat.
Applications must be postmarked by July 28 to make the deadline date of July 31, and are available online at reynoldsburgtomatofestival.org.
Contestants for the Queen and Court contest must be entering the 11th or 12th grade and live in the Reynoldsburg City School District.
All girls enrolled in the second grade for the 2009-2010 school year living in the Reynoldsburg City School District are eligible for the Little Princess Contest.
The Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival will take place from 4 to 10 p.m. Aug. 14 and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 15 at Huber Park.
The festival committee is looking for volunteers to help plan or work at the festival.
To volunteer, call Mary Hudson at (614) 866-4888.
For more information about the Tomato Festival Queen's competition, call Baker at (614) 863-6258.
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