AVON PARK-The 2014 Miss and Jr. Miss Avon Park Chamber of Commerce Pageant will be held Friday at the Union Congregational Church in Avon Park, and returns with some changes.
Fifteen high school girls will compete for the Miss title and 10 middle school-age girls for the Jr. Miss position.
The pageant starts at 6 p.m. and doors open at 5:15 p.m..
"This year we've had one of the largest turnouts (of contestants) from the past few years," said pageant director Celeste Carr. "The girls have a lot of fun doing this."
For the first time, this year's contestants were asked to write a 500-word essay, which an out-of-town panel will judge.
They will also be judged on a "personality wear," and the girls get to choose whatever theme they want, Carr said. There will also be a formal wear competition, and contestants will be asked a stage question, she added.
Contestants will vote on Miss Congeniality, and an Orlando-based group of judges will vote on Miss Photogenic.
Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students while children 5 and under can enter for free. Tickets will be sold at the door.
Reserved seating will be available for all reigning visiting queens and all former Miss and Jr Miss Avon Park Chamber of Commerce winners.
Union Congregational Church's youth facility, located across the parking lot from the church, will provide childcare for a donation of $2 per child to benefit upcoming pageants.
Raffle tickets also will be sold at the door for $5 to offset pageant costs, and prizes include $250 and $50 cash prizes, and gifts, to be awarded the night of the pageant.
The church is located at 106 N. Butler Ave, Avon Park.