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Paige Harder smiles as she is awarded during Miss Fall Festival last year. This year’s competition is on Sept. 7, in the Zionsville Town Hall Community Room. (Submitted photo.)

Paige Harder smiles as she is awarded during Miss Fall Festival last year. This year’s competition is on Sept. 7, in the Zionsville Town Hall Community Room. (Submitted photo.)

By Sophie Pappas

Louanne Gibralte knows a thing or two about pageants, even though she’s never actually been in one herself.

For several years now, the Lions Club’s Fall Festival has held a Miss Fall Festival competition. And for the last four years, Gibralte has been the competition’s director.

“I am not a former pageant participant,” she said. “I got involved in this through the Zionsville Lions Club.”

She said at first she was asked to judge in the competition, and then eventually she was running the whole show. Her co-director this year is Gail Robbins.

The local pageant is for girls from ages 13 to 17, and participants must reside in Boone County and not be a graduating senior the year of competition.

“This is a scholarship pageant associated with the Miss America Organization,” Gibralte said. “The winner of Miss Indiana Outstanding Teen will then go to Orlando to compete for the title of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen.  So this is a kind of like a ‘junior’ Miss America.  So you must compete at the local level first, which that is what our pageant is), then go to state, then go to national.”

The winner of the Miss Fall Fest pageant will receive a $500 scholarship from the Zionsville Lions Club.

 “[The winner] also gets to be involved with many different events during her reigning year,” Gibralte said. “Many events such as parades, opening ceremonies, dinners, luncheons, programs, and shows.”

The reigning Miss Fall Festival is Paige Harder, who placed in the top ten this year at the Miss Indiana Outstanding Teen pageant held in June. Before Harder, the titleholder was Samantha Robbins.

This year’s pageant will take place on Sept. 7, inside the Zionsville Town Hall Community Room.

“It is one day only and the winner is announced at the end of the pageant,” Gibralte said.

Contestants must register by Aug. 25. There is no entry fee to participate. To register or get more details on how to participate, email missfallfestival@gmail.com.


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