A new pageant called “Miss Western Kentucky” is coming to Owensboro in June as a preliminary to the Kentucky Festivals State Pageant later this year. The pageant will also be collecting hygiene items for Friends of Sinners clients.
The event is being put on by a couple of “pageant moms” — sisters Kayley Wilson of Owensboro and Natasha Burton of Perryville.
“A lot of the Kentucky Festivals preliminaries are mainly in Central Kentucky or Eastern Kentucky,” Wilson said. “It was really hard to find preliminaries here in the Western Kentucky area. So I thought why not bring that to Owensboro?”
This pageant will take place on June 15 at the Owensboro High School Auditorium. The pageant features numerous divisions for contestants ages 0-100. There is also a category for individuals with special needs, regardless of age. There is currently no category for boys, but Wilson said it could be added if there is enough interest.
There are two ways a contestant can win and advance to state, Wilson said. The first way is through the beauty contests/stage presentation. Contestants will be on stage twice, and their scores will be combined to determine the winners. The first stage presentation will be formal beauty wear, with cupcake dresses for younger contestants and beauty gowns for the older ones. The second stage appearance will be theme wear, with the theme of Summer Southern Belle.
Additionally, there will be a Humanitarian Award given to the contestant in each session who brings in the most hygiene items. There will be two sessions. Wilson said a contestant can be double-crowned for the beauty contest and the Humanitarian Award.
Wilson said she and her sister got approved to be directors of the pageant through Kentucky Festivals, and they are eager to put on a top-notch event.
“This will be our very first preliminary but we are not holding anything back,” she said. “We’re getting custom sashes. We’re getting the best get the best crowns. We’re going to put on the very best pageant that we can and give back to the community. We’re just really, really excited about it.”
In addition to crowns and sashes, there will be prizes for side awards such as Best Dressed, Best Personality, and Best Smile. Prize packages will include goodie bags for all the placements.
Wilson said the judges have already been selected and are certified through Kentucky Festivals.
“The judges will be looking for what the state competition would be looking for. It really helps prepare the contestants for state,” she said.
Wilson said one of the best parts of pageantry is being able to give back to the community. That’s why they’ve partnered with Friends of Sinners (FOS), a local substance abuse recovery program, for the hygiene item donation. Kayley is the wife of Jordan Wilson, who is the development director for FOS.
The Early Bird Cost to enter the pageant is $85 with a deadline of May 1. It covers Formal Wear, Theme Wear, all side awards, Humanitarian, and People’s Choice. There will be an optional $10 per photo cost for anyone who elects to compete for Photogenic.
A deposit for the pageant is $50 and can be sent via Cashapp to $WilsonKayley or PayPal to @kayleywilsonfc.