FARMINGTON – The Miss Farmington Fair pageant is back for its 21st year and will take place on day one of the 2021 Farmington Fair.
Started by Founder Lisa Bird of Gorham, back in 1999, the pageant has grown to be a crowd favorite each year and a wonderful way to kick off the excitement of the annual Farmington Fair.
In 1998 Bob Underwood, Lisa’s Dad and past Fair President, asked her if she had any suggestions of entertainment opportunities that could be added to the fair.
“I immediately said that they needed a pageant,” Bird said. “I had always enjoyed watching the pageants at local fairs and festivals in Maine, and also had a long personal history with state and national pageants. I just knew it would be a hit.”
The following year Lisa Bird hosted the first Miss Farmington Fair Pageant with over 20 contestants.
Lisa Bird announced her retirement from the pageant in 2019 and has handed over the reins to former judges and local business owners Jessica and Lauryn Thomas.
“I know that these ladies are going to bring so many fun and new ideas to the pageant, while also maintaining the values that I originally felt were so important,” said Bird.
The Miss Farmington Fair pageant is not a beauty pageant. This is a pageant geared toward making every contestant feel special, with a focus on their confidence, personality, character and stage presence. The girls are judged in three categories which include interview, talent, and formal presentation. In addition, the girls can also compete for the title of Miss Hospitality which is all about Fair Involvement. Other prizes offered include Miss Congeniality, and an award for best essay. None of these added competitions have any effect on the outcome for the MFF titles.
Over the years the contestants have entertained audiences with a wide variety of talent: Lots of singing and dancing, and playing musical instruments. We have also enjoyed Karate demonstrations, stand- up comedy, poetry readings, painting, monologues, gymnastics, baton twirling, and so much more.
Ms. Bird stated, “20 years seems like the perfect time to retire. The break from 2020 was the perfect time to transition. The Franklin County Agricultural Society has been so supportive all these years and I am incredibly grateful to them for all that they have done for the pageant. I have met some amazing young ladies, watched many of them grow up into incredible women. It’s going to be hard to let it go, but after 20 years of watching the girls from backstage, I am looking forward to being able to come back to the fair each year and watch the show from the stands.”
The new Co-Directors, Jessica and Lauryn are excited for this new venture. They own Thomas Performing Arts Center in Farmington and are very involved in the community so this was an easy yes for them when asked to take over the reigns.
“I have been to the last six years of the pageant, and thought it was so great that we had the best little pageant! Anything that creates a place where young ladies can feel empowered and have a boost of confidence, I am all for,” said Jessica.
Lauryn has been a part of Miss Farmington Fair as a judge and has loved the pageant for many years. “We look forward to honoring all of Lisa’s hard work all while bringing some new ideas to the popular event. We love our community and are excited to be a part of something so positive,” said Lauryn.
Contestants APPLICATIONS are NOW being accepted for the 21st Miss Farmington Fair Pageant, to be held on Sunday September 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Farmington Fair Grounds. Preparation, rehearsals, and interview competitions will take place during the day beginning at 1:30 p.m. Applications can be found on the Facebook Page or emailing MissFarmingtonFair@gmail.com.
Young ladies who reside in Franklin County and the surrounding area, and are between the ages of 7 and 18, are welcome to participate and compete for the titles of Miss Farmington Fair (15-18), Junior Miss Farmington Fair (11-14), Little Miss Farmington Fair (7-10) and Miss Hospitality, (for the young lady who is most active in participation in the fair itself) Prizes also awarded for each category of competition in each age group as well as essay, Miss Congeniality and runners-up prizes.
A snack and pizza will be provided to the girls during the day and trophies and some cash prizes will be awarded from the Franklin County Agricultural Society.
Contestants will be judged in interview, talent, and formal presentation.
LOOKING FOR PAST MFF QUEENS: Past Queens are encouraged to attend in crown and banner and are welcome to perform the opening number and their own talent. MFF past queens will be asked to join us onstage to share an update on what they have been up to.