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Miss Newfoundland pageant switches gears with venue, date change

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

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

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.”

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.”

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.

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.

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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 university 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/

editor@cbncompass.ca  

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