FAIRBORN — Local boys and girls aged 6-9 years old are invited to participate in the annual Fourth of July Lil Miss and Lil Mr. Fairborn contest, in which they will have the opportunity to show off their patriotism.
“We can only have one winner, unfortunately, but if they can get up their and do what they’re doing — they’re all winners,” said Connie Thompson, a Fourth of July Committee member who has been running the competition alongside Ruth Strasser and Judy Bentley for the last eight years.
The competition takes place during the annual Block Party and does not highlight frills, glitter and glam similar to a traditional beauty pageant. It instead focuses on the participants personality, confidence, poise, knowledge concerning the Fourth of July and ability to speak in full sentences in front of a crowd. Participants are not asked to doll up before the competition, as the dress for the annual event is casual and highlights red, white and blue.
They’re asked one-to-three questions relating to the Fourth of July, their school, family, talents and/or sports, and have approximately 30-40 seconds of addressing the crowd. Participants learn a song during the intermission of the contest and the audience is asked to join into the singing if they wish.
“It’s always good when the whole audience starts laughing and I know [that’s happened],” Thompson said.
Registration opens at 5:15 p.m. Monday, July 3, just before the competition starts at 6:15 at the Actor’s Theatre, 23 East Main Street. Participants must pay $5 upon entry; cash or checks are accepted. Children must belong to the Fairborn City School district and be between 6-9 years old as of July 4, 2017.
“What I always find interesting is you see these kids that come back every year and you see how much growth they’ve done in their ability to talk and present themselves — their confidence level grows,” Thompson said.
Three local judges will decide the winners, who will receive a plaque, sash and crown and will have the opportunity to ride in Fairborn’s Fourth of July parade. The parade is slated for 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 4, starting at the Fairborn Plaza, rolling down Central Avenue and ending at Main and Broad Streets.