By MARGIE NETZEL
For the Star Beaqcon
GENEVA — —
Chrissy Jeppe is in the middle of a purple manic stage as she decorates a float, puts together a souvenier book and prepares for the biggest beauty pageant in Ashtabula County.
Today is the final day for princesses in Ashtabula, Geauga and Lake counties to register to compete for the rhinestone-and-glitter title of Miss Grapette.
“So far we have 55 contestants for the pageant,” Jeppe said, “and there are still spots open in every age category.” Jeppe is the director of the Miss Grapette Pageant.
The pageant will be Sept. 21 at Geneva High School.
Applications for the pageant are now being accepted through Wednesday. Registration forms are available at www.genevagrapejamboree.com, www.genevaohio.com, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We want to include as many girls as possible for this really exciting pageant,” Jeppe said.
Jeppe said interest in the pageant is high this year as the Grape JAMboree prepares to crown the 50th Miss Grapette.
“The Girls who have entered seem to be very excited,” she said. “The little and young groups will be opening up the show with a dance.”
The 2013 Miss Grapette and her court will even get commemorative crowns and custom sashes.
“Miss Grapette will also be crowned with a brand new cape this year. All of this is very special for the pageant and for the girls,” Jeppe said.
Jeppe said out-of-town judges will score the pageant, just to be sure everything is done fairly.
The judges for the pageant are from out of town and some have never even been to Grape JAMboree,” she said. “But they comment all the time about the contestants they interview at how Grape JAMboree is deep in the heart of those that were born and still growing up here.”
Jeppe said girls from I have girls from Williamsfield, the Ashtabula area, Madison, Andover, Perry and Mentor have already registered for the pageant.
“We are always so happy to see the auditorium full of people there to see our girls take the stage,” Jeppe said. “The audience loves the show. The little kids are so cute and everyone loves the Miss Grapette pageant.”
The littlest girls, grades kindergarten through fifth, will take the stage at 2 p.m. on Sept. 21. Jeff Tanchek of 19 Action news will serve as the emcee of the event. The Miss Grapette pageant for teens will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults and children ages 3 to 12 get in for $4. Children ages three and under are free.
Jeppe said Miss Grapette is a community tradition for more reasons than rhinestones and high heels.
“The Miss Grapette Pageant is not a beauty pageant!” she said. “The girls who win should take this opportunity to make as many new friends as possible, be very proud of who they are, and build their self confidence.”