In years past, pictures from the Miss Okefenokee Beauty Pageant headlines the Herald’s Okefenokee’s special section. Pictures showcase contestants, runners-up, Baby Miss Okefenokee, Wee Miss Okefenokee, Petite Wee Miss Okefenokee, Little Miss Okefenokee, Petite Miss Okefenokee, Junior Miss Okefenokee, Teen Miss Okefenokee and the Miss Okefenokee winner.

The pageant holds a special place in residents’ hearts as it is an opportunity for local young women, from newborn to 21, to take pride in our community. According to Brandie Murrell, director of the pageant, Miss Okefenokee allows young ladies to develop confidence, poise, charm and pride. The participants can network with peers, and it is also a chance for the contestant to dress up and have fun.

This special event was cancelled last year due to COVID-19, and this year’s pageant is currently postponed. Murrell said the pageant committee decided to postpone and move the pageant from September 11 to sometime in the future for the health and safety of everyone involved. The pageant is an indoor and close-contact event, so it would be difficult to work around that.

“The audience in the auditorium on pageant day rotates frequently and more importantly, the changing room backstage is extremely close-quarters for parents, children and young ladies,” Murrel said. “Sanitation and safety would be difficult. The wellbeing of everyone involved is our top priority.”

She said the committee plans on having Miss Okefenokee as soon as they are able to, and they are as eager as everyone within the community to host it. Parents and older contestants who paid entry fees have the option of being refunded, or the committee can keep the entry fee for the rescheduled date.

Some larger cities have hosted virtual beauty pageant as an alternative to an in-person event or even required contestants to wear masks. Murrell does not think that is feasible for the Miss Okefenokee Pageant because she would rather host it the traditional way and see everyone’s beautiful smiles.

“Amongst many other enhancements, we’ve updated the entry form and registration process to include a digital way to pay and register,” Murrell said. “Our committee also has plans to incorporate a couple of vendors at the upcoming pageant. We are extremely eager to host the Miss Okefenokee Pageant and will do so as soon as possible.”In years past, pictures from the Miss Okefenokee Beauty Pageant headlines the Herald’s Okefenokee’s special section. Pictures showcase contestants, runners-up, Baby Miss Okefenokee, Wee Miss Okefenokee, Petite Wee Miss Okefenokee, Little Miss Okefenokee, Petite Miss Okefenokee, Junior Miss Okefenokee, Teen Miss Okefenokee and the Miss Okefenokee winner.

The pageant holds a special place in residents’ hearts as it is an opportunity for local young women, from newborn to 21, to take pride in our community. According to Brandie Murrell, director of the pageant, Miss Okefenokee allows young ladies to develop confidence, poise, charm and pride. The participants can network with peers, and it is also a chance for the contestant to dress up and have fun.

This special event was cancelled last year due to COVID-19, and this year’s pageant is currently postponed. Murrell said the pageant committee decided to postpone and move the pageant from September 11 to sometime in the future for the health and safety of everyone involved. The pageant is an indoor and close-contact event, so it would be difficult to work around that.

“The audience in the auditorium on pageant day rotates frequently and more importantly, the changing room backstage is extremely close-quarters for parents, children and young ladies,” Murrel said. “Sanitation and safety would be difficult. The wellbeing of everyone involved is our top priority.”

She said the committee plans on having Miss Okefenokee as soon as they are able to, and they are as eager as everyone within the community to host it. Parents and older contestants who paid entry fees have the option of being refunded, or the committee can keep the entry fee for the rescheduled date.

Some larger cities have hosted virtual beauty pageant as an alternative to an in-person event or even required contestants to wear masks. Murrell does not think that is feasible for the Miss Okefenokee Pageant because she would rather host it the traditional way and see everyone’s beautiful smiles.

“Amongst many other enhancements, we’ve updated the entry form and registration process to include a digital way to pay and register,” Murrell said. “Our committee also has plans to incorporate a couple of vendors at the upcoming pageant. We are extremely eager to host the Miss Okefenokee Pageant and will do so as soon as possible.”