17 girls prepare to compete for local crowns


By Melanie Ruberti


 17 girls prepare to compete for local crowns

 2 new pageants added to local competition


LaGRANGE – By next weekend, the community will crown two young ladies as Miss Troup County and Miss Troup County’s Outstanding Teen.

For the first time in several decades, judges will also choose two more contestants to be Miss LaGrange and Miss LaGrange’s Outstanding Teen.

A total of 17 young women entered the pageants; four will walk away with a crown, title and chance to compete at the Miss Georgia Scholarship Pageant in Columbus this June.

“I think we have some of the cream of the crop competing in all four pageants,” said executive director, Judy Neighbors. “… I’m excited because of the addition of Miss LaGrange and Miss LaGrange’s Outstanding Teen pageants. We’re giving more scholarship opportunities to those who have never participated in a pageant before.”

The new contests were only open to young ladies in Troup, Meriwether and Heard counties. The Miss Troup County and Miss Troup County’s Outstanding Teen pageants allow girls to participate from anywhere in Georgia.

“I’ve been wanting to get more LaGrange and Troup County girls involved in the local pageants,” Neighbors told the Daily News in an August 2016 article. “I know there are talented, intelligent, young women in the area that have a servant’s heart. I want to give them this opportunity to participate in a pageant and opportunity to represent LaGrange in the Miss Georgia and Miss Georgia Outstanding Teen pageants.”

Judy and her husband James are essentially restoring tradition back to the city.

In 1940’s and 1950’s, the original pageant was called Miss LaGrange. Judy’s cousin, Dorothy Johnston, won the title of Miss LaGrange in 1949 and went on to win Miss Georgia later that year.

At some point, the pageant’s name was changed to Miss Troup County, said Neighbors.

The young women participating this year could only choose one pageant to compete in, so there will be four separate winners. No one will take home two crowns.

Each girl will compete in four areas: talent, private interview, evening gown and physical fitness, Neighbors said.

While only four crowns will be given away, Neighbors said each young lady walks away from the pageant as a winner.

“They change in some amazing ways,” she stated. “They have more self-awareness, confidence and social skills. The young women become prepared for future speaking engagements and job interviews. They are taught how to present themselves.”

The Miss Troup County, Miss Troup County’s Outstanding Teen, Miss LaGrange and Miss LaGrange’s Outstanding Teen pageants will take place on Saturday, Jan. 21. The competition will begin at 7 p.m. inside the Troup High School Fine Arts Auditorium at 1920 Hamilton Road.

Tickets will be sold at the door at 6 p.m. the night of the pageant. The cost is $20 per adult; $10 for students and young children. Students must present a student I.D.

The Troup’s Little Miss Pageant will also take place on Jan. 21 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Troup County Fine Arts Auditorium. The competition features infants up to girls aged 12 years old.

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.