Rabbit Fest pageant registration up and hopping

By LYNETTE SOWELL
Cove Leader-Press
Registration is now open for the 2015 Rabbit Fest pageant. After the pageant’s revival in 2014, it’s back again with one major change from last year. “I think the biggest change in the pageant this year is that we have moved it to occur during the festival,” said Rabbit Fest pageant director, Wendy Sledd. “After the triumphant return of the pageant last year and the tremendous success it saw with 142 contestants, we have moved the pageant to take place during the festival so that the thousands of people that attend the fest can enjoy watching the pageant.” The pageant will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 16 at the festival after the Rabbit Fest parade. Sledd said the age divisions, judging criteria and cost to enter the pageant have not changed. Another big hit last year were the prize packages, both for contestants and titleholders. “All of our school age and younger winners will once again receive an educational savings bond this year,” Sledd said. “But, we have also added a college scholarship for our Miss queen courtesy of Western Insurance.” 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, 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. In addition to a $100 educational savings bond, custom-made Rabbit Fest Pageant rhinestone crowns for girls, with velvet and gold-trimmed crowns and kings’ robes for boys; a custom-made double-satin embroidered Rabbit Fest Pageant banner; a 3-foot tall queen/king trophy; bouquet of live flowers for queens and boutonniere for kings; a Rabbit Fest Pageant protective crown box; an official photo shoot; a Rabbit Fest Pageant dress bag personalized with pageant title; a Rabbit Fest Pageant personalized velvet banner pouch; an official Rabbit Fest Pageant glitter shirt; as well as a gift bag of gift cards/restaurant certificates. Printable applications are available now at the Rabbit Fest website, www.rabbitfest.com. The cost is $35 and the categories range from boys and girls up to eight years old, with girls and women competing ages nine all the way up to Senior Ms. for ages 50+. One element of the pageant that Sledd brought in for 2014 was encouraging volunteerism and appearances by the Rabbit Fest royalty. Sledd said the titleholders took advantage of more than 100 opportunities to support charitable causes. A number of the royalty have also been recognized with honors besides wearing their crowns and holding titles. Four of the royalty were named among the 10 Incredible Kids by the Central Texas Youth Coalition. Rabbit Fest pageant winners were also named the Temple Parks and Recreation Department’s Volunteers of the Year. “Our 2015 winners will be required to make a total of 12 appearances throughout the year although we expect they will make many, many more when they start experiencing the rewarding feeling of volunteerism,” she said of this year’s future winners.

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