Doesn’t every little girl dream of a tiara and a sash? A beautiful gown, whitened teeth and a limpid wave mean that you are someone important. You have that indescribable charm, the grace, the ability to sell raffle tickets that raises you above your peers.
Yes, I’m bitter.
Not that I ever made an attempt. Learning a talent, dieting and being pretty would be too much work. I really just wanted the crown, thank you. And being chauffeured in a convertible would be fun, too. But I might have tried if I could’ve made up my own title. How would the sash of your choice read? Miss Good Friend? Miss Beautiful Home? Miss Behaved Children?
Many local festivals don’t have titles that accurately reflect the honor bestowed on the lucky young woman. I’m not sure what prize package accompanies the Crown of the International Cow Chip Throwing Festival in Beaver, Oklahoma, or the Calf Fry Festival of Vinita. At the Fort Worth Stockyards there are pictures of past Fat Stock Show Princesses and Queens. Yes, Fat Stock. You don’t get to reign over every bovine inhabitant of the stockyards, only the fat ones. Sounds like discrimination if you ask me. I don’t know if the Footloose Festival in Elmore City crowns a prom queen, but they should as they celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the dance that inspired the movie(s).
And the most unusual festival in my state – Wetumka Sucker Days. (Story potential here, author friends.) In 1953 a city slicker came to town selling tickets to a big circus that was headed their way. Excitement swept the area. Vendors came to sell souvenirs and concessions. Businesses bought sponsorships. Citizens festooned the town with balloons, posters and flyers, and on the big day everyone went to Main Street to watch as the circus animals paraded to the grounds for the show.
But there was no circus. And no Mr. City Slicker.
As the realization dawned on the “suckers” they looked around and decided they had food, decorations and time off. Wasn’t that enough of an excuse to celebrate? And so once a year they revive the celebration. You have to admire their sense of humor.
Why do we think we need an excuse to celebrate? Does your town have a peculiar festival? If you were queen, what would the sash read at your coronation?