There will be a Miss Florida Seafood this year, but she won’t be selected in the traditional fashion.
Because only four Franklin County girls are vying for the title this year, the board of directors of the festival decided to invoke the rules pertaining to an “alternative judging process,” and so judges will evaluate the contestants this Saturday based on an interview, appearance and the manner in which they shoot a hypothetical television commercial.
“We really wanted to have a pageant, we tried, but we could not,” said John Solomon, president of the festival, slated for the weekend before Election Day, Nov. 4 and 5.
“There was only four girls, it takes five to have a pageant,” he said. “Girls will still be competing for the crown, we just won’t have a pageant.”
The alternative judging is not unprecedented, but it breaks an unbroken string of 12 straight pageants. In the past, the festival had tried simply an essay contest when such a situation arose, but this Saturday night at the Apalachicola Community Center, it will be a quiet multi-faceted affair, with three experienced judges, two from Panama City and one from Tallahassee, evaluating the girls based on interview, appearance and how they perform in the making of a hypothetical television commercial.
There will be no wearing of different outfits throughout, no fancy gowns, and no talent portion. Instead, the girls will each be wearing business casual attire.
Following the competition, the entire community is invited to witness the new queen being crowned at a brief ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on the front steps of Gibson Inn.
Taking part in this year’s pageant, in alphabetical order, are:
Corie Cates, 16, a senior at Port St Joe High School, and daughter of Mike and Carla Cates, of Apalachicola. She is sponsored by Cates Electric.
Holly Chambers, 17, a senior at Franklin County High School, and daughter of Michelle and Andy Chambers. Apalachicola. She is sponsored by Chambers Home Repair.
Emily Gay, 17, a senior at Port St Joe High School, and daughter of Danny and Crystal Gay, of Apalachicola. She is sponsored by Centennial Bank.
Faith Sapp, 16, a junior at Franklin County High School, and daughter of Cassie Sapp, of Apalachicola. She is sponsored by Rob Cabezas with Coastal Realty.