Manning Homes named presenting sponsor for pageant
Fri, 2015-04-03 05:00 News Staff
By DAVID MORRIS
When it comes to homes, decisions can be many and often difficult, however for Joan and Jay Manning at Manning Homes, it was a no-brainer decision when it came to presenting the annual Rabbit Fest Pageant after its return in 2014. “We were planning on sponsoring the pageant again this year after the many successes of the pageant over the past year,” said Joan. “In the return last year we were a little apprehensive following an 18 year absence of the pageant.” Living in Cove since age 8, Manning witnessed many pageants during the history of the festival and missed the festivities of it during its absence. “It was always nice to see them in the parade and representing our city when I was growing,” said Manning. “Now they are doing so much more with all their hours of community service. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that it would have become as successful as it has.” Dropping by the Manning Homes office on Business 190, Pre-Teen Miss Natalie Perez and Junior Mister Zachary Petty showed off silver and gold Presidential service awards they both received for their efforts since the 2014 crowning. The member of the royalty with the most community service will reign as the Ambassador for Rabbit Fest donning a 10-inch crown. “There is an immense source of pride when you see these boys and girls out there serving our community,” said Manning. For several nights during the Christmas holidays, the royalty of Rabbit Fest were found ringing the bells for Salvation Army, a charity that Joan holds near annually. “I knew I could count on them during that time and didn’t have to worry because they had it taken care of,” she said. With more than 100 events completed and many more to go, the Rabbit Fest Royalty has been busy since the third weekend in May last year with royalty alone racking up more than 1,500+ hours of service. “We have several events nearly every weekend, last weekend alone we were at four different events representing Rabbit Fest and Copperas Cove.” Pageant Coordinator Wendy Sledd said. “Collectively, the pageant has contributed more than 3,000 hours of service to the community since last May’s crowning. ” The pageant will return to the same weekend as the festival serving as the Saturday, May 16 afternoon entertainment. The show begins at 1 p.m. at Fester’s House inside the Copperas Cove City Park. Applications for the 2015 pageant can be found on the Rabbitfest.com website and are accepted until May 1 at the Chamber of Commerce building at 204 Robertson Ave. All contestants will receive a customized cast iron Rabbit Fest Pageant medal, a hardback book courtesy of Altrusa International, one month of gymnastics/dance/ cheer lessons from GymKix, and gift certificates to local restaurants and eateries. Contestants selected for the court (1st -4th runner up) in each category will receive a wooden base trophy on a crystal tower topped with a king or queen. All newly crowned royalty will receive: Custom-made Rabbit Fest Pageant rhinestone crowns for girls, velvet and gold trimmed crowns and kings’ robes for boys, Custom-made double-satin embroidered Rabbit Fest Pageant banner, 3-foot tall queen/king trophy, bouquet of live flowers for queens/boutonniere for kings from Michele’s Floral and Gifts, Rabbit Fest Pageant protective crown box, Official Photo Shoot from Taylor Photography, Rabbit Fest Pageant dress bag personalized with pageant title from Gift Expressions, Rabbit Fest Pageant personalized velvet banner pouch from Gift Expressions, Official Rabbit Fest Pageant glitter shirt from Sporty B, Gift bag of gift cards/restaurant certificates. In each age category, each contestant will enter on stage one at a time. After individual judging, contestants in each specific category will enter the stage for a group line up and one final look by the judges. An optional rehearsal is set for Sunday, May 3. Contestant numbers will be distributed at rehearsal. Pageant numbers may also be picked up at the festival royalty booth Thursday, Friday, or up to no later than one hour prior to the start of the pageant. Categories: 0-11 mos. Baby, 12-17 mos. Tiny, 18-23 mos. Miniature, 2-3 years Wee Little, 4-5 years Little, 6-8 years Junior, 9-12 years Pre-teen, 13-15 years, 16-18 years Teen, 19-27 years (Miss), 28+ years Ms., 50+ years is the Senior Ms. The pageant is open to boys and girls, ages 1 day to 8 years old. Contestant must provide either a copy of birth certificate as proof of age. Parents of contestants ages 3 and younger may go on stage with their contestants. No other parents or helpers will be allowed back stage or on the stage. Contestant must reside in Coryell County or live within 25 miles of Copperas Cove and intend to continue to maintain residence in this area for a minimum of one year.