FITS queen pageant heats up

The competition is heating up for this year’s Fun in the Sun queen crown now that two more girls have signed up and button sales have begun.
Susan Mercure and Britainee Whalen are the latest to throw their hats into the ring, bringing the total number of contestants to six.
The other four are Amanda Bone, Katie Cuthbertson, Ashley Dyson, and Jennifer Pattison.
The queen pageant almost didn’t go ahead this year because four girls who had signed up in May had to withdraw because of scheduling conflicts. This meant organizers basically had to find a new set of contestants at the last minute.
“Usually the girls have their buttons by the beginning of June, sometimes by the end of May,” said pageant co-ordinator Sherri Puddicombe.
This year, the girls didn’t get their buttons until June 17. But despite the late start, sales already are going well. “It’s a really good sign,” Puddicombe said.
To spice things up a bit, a $25 gift certificate will be awarded to those who are lucky enough to buy the “special buttons.”^“There’s a special button in each girl’s batch, but the girls don’t even know which one it is,” Puddicombe noted.
Pageant events officially begin next Thursday (June 26) during “Mall Days” on Scott Street, where the girls will have a tent set up to sell their buttons, Fun in the Sun Tshirts, and 50/50 tickets.
Then on Saturday, June 28, the six contestants will be showing their community spirit at a flea market, carnival, and antique car show at Fort High.
The entertainment night is slated for next Sunday (June 29) starting at 7 p.m. at the Memorial Sports Centre. The contestants will be performing dance routines—and trying something a little different.
“They’ll make up their own commercial for their sponsors and perform them on stage,” Puddicombe said. “They came up with this idea themselves.”^The crowning will follow, likely sometime between 9 and 9:30 p.m.
On July 1, the newly-crowned queen and her court—the first and second princesses—will ride in the Canada Day parade.
Then they’ll proceed to Pither’s Point, where they will judge a sand castle contest. Prizes will be awarded in various age categories The FITS queen and princesses have duties throughout the year, including participating in the July 4 parade in International Falls, making special appearances during the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship later in July, and various other public engagements.
“When they sell these buttons to the community, they then give their time back to the community,” Puddicombe said.