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Pecan Fest extends pageant deadline

GROVES — Organizers with the recently renamed Groves Pecan Festival Queen’s Scholarship Pageant are extending the sign-up period to July 23 in order to give more girls a chance to enter.
“We are extending the deadline in hopes that more girls who might be interested have a chance to enter,” Ronnie Boneau, executive director of the Groves Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Center, said. “This is a busy time with school vacation and all of the other activities they may be involved in.”
The pageant, which is in its 45th year, awards a $1,000 scholarship to the queen, $750 for first place and $500 for the second runner-up in the queen’s category.
Officials with the Groves Chamber have been busy calling girls who participated last year — something they have never done before and also hope to target new contestants.
Applications must be picked up and returned completed with registration fees by 4 p.m. July 23 to the Groves Chamber of Commerce office, 4399 Main Ave., Groves. No late applications will be accepted.
The Groves Pecan Festival Queen’s Scholarship Pageant will be held Saturday, Sept. 12. Girls age 3 years to 12th grade that live in Groves may pick up applications at the Groves Chamber of Commerce. Completed applications will be accepted on a first come first serve basis.
Each category will be limited to 15 contestants. Once the category is filled no more applications will be accepted. Categories go by grade. The categories are: Petite Miss, 3 years- PK; Little Miss, K – 1st grade; Duchess, 2nd – 3rd grade; Countess, 4th- 5th grade; Junior Miss, 6th- 7th grade; Princess, 8th – 9th grade; Queen, 10th – 12th grade.
Pageant winners will soon be on a whirlwind of activity, especially this fall when the Groves Pecan Festival moves to Nov. 5 through Nov. 8. The pageant winners take part in the festival, will be formally introduced and some will assist with various games. You can spot them easily — they’ll be the ones with the sash and crown.
Boneau said they have received numerous calls about the upcoming festival and have even heard from a past pageant queen wanting to take a ride in the annual parade. If this comes to be then other past queens may be invited, he added.
This year marks the 47th year of the pecan festival, 10 of which was run by a different committee of persons who have done a great job, Boneau said in a previous story. But as some of the members have retired their jobs while others are having to place more focus on theirs, it seemed time to make that change. The chamber is now in charge of the festival along with a Pecan Festival board of directors who have been busy filing necessary paperwork with state and federal agencies for the name change from Texas Pecan Festival to Groves Pecan Festival as well as with city permits, carnival permits and advertising.
“We have sent letters to past Texas Pecan Festival vendors who can be grandfathered into the Groves Festival. Some can and some have other obligations due to the change of dates,” he said. “We have also lost two or three craft vendors but are working in that.”
Pecan Fest officials will also be bringing in a new carnival provider after hearing requests from the public, he said.
Another change this year is with the entertainment chairperson. A new entertainment director has been hired and is working on the upcoming musical lineup. But some things won’t change with entertainment. School choirs and dance studios and other performing groups will still take part in the event.
For more information about the pageant or the festival, call the Groves Chamber of Commerce at 962-3631.
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