On October 28, 2012, Sunburst Model Search, Baby Contest and Pageant (also known as Sunburst) made its stop at the Valley Hills Mall, in Hickory, North Carolina. MyMeApparel Atlanta Fashion and Entertainment Examiner representatives were there to capture the magic.
Anxiety riddled parents, giddy contestants, and their excited supporters filtered into the food court of the Valley Hills Mall. In speaking with the attendees, some of the contestants had three and four generations of support present!
Dressing room areas were provided for contestants to put finishing touches on their pageantry looks. Some opted to utilize the restrooms instead. They went in as ordinary looking individuals and came out looking like beautiful porcelain dolls in ball gowns and suits!
Contestants of the day ranged from novice first timers to teen veterans, who have been in the pageant circuit since infancy. Each contestant made their way onto the stage to present in front of a magnificent carousel, which was placed at the entrance of the food court.
“Celebrating over 31 years of discovering new faces” ~ Sunburst Beauty Pageant, www.sunburstbeauty.com
Binky Baughman and Tammy McKay were the Sunburst Beauty Pageant representatives for the Valley Hills Mall event. Baughman said that they make the Valley Hills Mall stop twice per year.
Valley Hills Mall
1960 19th Street Drive Southeast
Hickory, NC 28602
The judges for the day were Dorothy Houston (of Connections Model and Talent Agency), Melissa Shuford (a Connections Model and Talent Agency parent), and Chelsey Watson (a Consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics).
Contestants compete in the categories of best attire, best smile, best personality, prettiest eyes, prettiest hair, model look and photogenic. They were also considered in a model search as model and talent agencies scouted on site.
See the slideshow of contestants in action and some of the awards they received.
Sunburst hosts local (preliminary), state and international pageants throughout the year that cover forty-three of the United States (including nine stops in the Atlanta, Georgia area), Canada and Puerto Rico.
Sunburst offers competition in eleven different age divisions: baby queen (females, less than 1 year old), baby king (less than 1 year old), tiny queen (females, age 1), tiny king (males, age 1), little queen (females, ages 2-3), little king (males, ages 2-3), pee wee (females, ages 4-6), little miss (females, ages 7-10), pre teen (females, ages 11-13), teen (females, ages 14-17) and miss (females, ages 18-27).
Contestants are eligible to win numerous prizes including $10,000, $5,000, $2,000, $1,000, $500 & $100 savings bonds and state/international entry fees paid. Sunburst boosts that it issues over $3,000,000 in awards annually.
“Several Miss America state title holders and two Miss Americas grew up in Sunburst Pageants. Two Sunburst contestants have gone on to capture the Miss America title and Miss USA title. Sunburst has placed many starts in movies: four of the Halloween Movies, The Littlest Angel, It Could Be You, and The Young and The Restless to name a few. Sunburst contestants appear continually on cereal boxes, Toys R` Us commercials, Disney, and Epcot commercials, magazine advertisement, Cruise Line commercials, Sponge Bob Square Pants on Nickelodeon, Publix, Texas Pete Sauce, Burger King, Triaminic, and Walmart advertisements, to name just a few. Currently two families are appearing on national T.V. with famous starts. Be scouted by numerous modeling and talent agencies … you could be the next Sunburst Star!” ~ Sunburst Beauty Pageant, www.sunburstbeauty.com.
To find out more information about the pageant stops, entry fees and program structure please visit the Sunburst Beauty Pageant website.