Ms. Firecracker Pageant still accepting registration for Fourth of July event

Organizations have a variety of events planned for the annual Fourth of July celebrations in two weeks, but Elizabethton Parks and Recreation has something unique in mind to instill patriotism in the community: the Ms. Firecracker Pageant.

Amy Simmons said she has been directing the pageant for several years now.

“We usually get about 50 participants a year,” Simmons said.

The pageant, like many others, critiques participants based on their attire and personality. Unlike other pageants, however, Simmons said fancy gowns or other dresses are not necessarily the standard.

“We try to get participants to dress in their patriotic best,” she said.

This could be dresses or other fancier attire, but it could also be other kinds of red, white and blue clothing. Simmons even said some participants come in military uniforms.

“I have seen how creative people can be,” she said.

She said the pageant is more than a fashion show; it is meant to bring different parts of the community together.

“We have celebrations all over the region,” she said. “People are looking for things to do. This draws a lot of people.”

The pageant is not just for adults, either. There are age brackets for participants as young as infants.

She said the pageant, true to its name and theme, gives participants and viewers a chance to talk about why they love their country and what makes it great.

“They each get a minute to speak,” Simmons said. “I have had people give lengthy speeches about America.”

There will be five age groups on pageant day: 0 to 2, 3 to 5, 6 to 10, 11 to 15 and 16+ years old. Each age division will have one crown recipient.

The pageant is one of many programs Parks and Recreation puts on every year for the holiday. Other events include bike parades and a special ceremony.

Those interested in participating in the pageant have until the day of the pageant to send in the $10 entry fee. The pageant itself will begin at the Covered Bridge Stage in Elizabethton at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 4.

Simmons said they are aiming to finish the pageant at around noon that day.

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