Miss Greenbelt Pageant Opening Night
The Miss Greenbelt Pageant started in 1955 and has been a major component of the Labor Day Festival. Over the years, a tradition has formed that the Outstanding Citizen is announced on Friday evening at the festival’s opening ceremonies and the Miss Greenbelt Pageant follows right after. Currently, Miss Greenbelt is for girls ages 14 to 19. In the 1980s, Little Miss Greenbelt (girls ages 7 to 10) and Junior Miss Greenbelt (girls ages 11 to 13) were added. By tradition, the pageant winners are announced on Sunday evening, and on Monday morning, in the Labor Day Parade, they ride in cars behind the Outstanding Citizen. These photos are from the opening night of the pageant.
Little Miss Greenbelt contestants are wearing blue and pink, Junior Miss Greenbelt contestants are in purple, and Miss Greenbelt girls are wearing gold and black. Here they emerge from their changing rooms in the Aquatic and Fitness Center.
Ashley smiles for the camera.
Caroline and Autumn are Junior Miss Greenbelt contestants.
Jordan gives thumbs up.
The evening starts with group dances by Little Miss, Junior Miss, and Miss Greenbelt contestants. Here is Allison.
For the young contestants, their dance coach leads from the audience.
Junior Miss Greenbelt 2011 Sarah Crank (center)
Miss Greenbelt 2011 Victoria Gray
Parvathy (right) and Rebecca (second from right)
The judges are introduced one by one. Here in the center is Cathy Clark Fisanich. “Cathy was Miss Greenbelt 1979, and is very excited about playing a role in selecting the next young woman who will carry the Miss Greenbelt crown with pride…”
Caroline Kuhlman is second from right. “Caroline competed in the Miss America Organization for six years and is looking forward to re-entering pageantry in the Mrs. Division. In December, Caroline and her husband, Kevin, celebrated surviving their first year of marriage. Her passions are teaching, running, baking cookies, and playing with her Yorkie.”
The contestants are then introduced one by one by the emcee Rich Lee. Each walks on stage and completes her modeling routine as Lee reads her biography.
“Serena is a 5th grade student attending Catherine T. Reed Elementary School in their Talented and Gifted program, where she is an Honor Roll student. She enjoys playing sports and is a member of the Soccer, Basketball, Cheerleading and Baseball teams for Greenbelt. Serena is a member of Girl Scout Honor Troop 4128. This was the second year she sold over 1,000 boxes of cookies and received a special award from the Girl Scout’s Council. Serena loves to dance and sing. In her spare time Serena rides bikes, swims, and takes care of her new puppy ‘Roxas’. When Serena gets older she would like to become a singer and dancer. Serena would like to thank her sponsor The Greenbelt Boys and Girls Club and Councilwoman Ingrid Turner.”
“Starr is a 10 year old 5th grade student at Greenbelt Elementary. As a 4th grade student, Starr maintained honor roll status, including the Principal’s honor roll and she became a 4 Star Math General. Her favorite subjects are music (instrumental and chorus), reading and math. A past member of Brownie Troop 2799, she is now a Junior Girl Scout with Troop 4128. She is also a very active member of the Greenbelt Boys and Girls Club. She enjoys hip-hop dancing, writing songs and swimming. Starr is looking forward to attending either Florida State or Harvard University to prepare for her career as a Veterinarian, actress, singer, athlete and teacher. Starr would like to thank her sponsor The Greenbelt Boys and Girls Club and Councilwoman Ingrid Turner.”
County Councilwoman Ingrid Turner poses with the girls she sponsors.
Miss Greenbelt contestants
Molly was Little Miss Greenbelt in 2006 and Junior Miss Greenbelt in 2008.
Last year’s Little Miss Greenbelt Yasmyn Switzer. “When Yasmyn grows up she hopes to become a teacher, a fashion designer or a psychiatrist. Her favorite part of being Little Miss Greenbelt was getting ready for the pageant and helping and practicing with all the participants.”
Now Junior Miss Greenbelt contestants.
“Carmen is a 13-year-old 8th grader attending Friends Community School. Her favorite subject is Language Arts where she experiments with reading and writing in different ways. Outside of school, Carmen likes to sing, dance, draw and sew. She designed and made her dress especially for the Miss Greenbelt Pageant. She has taken lessons in hip-hop, Bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance), ballroom dance and flute; and she’s beginning to learn piano. She also enjoys photography. When she is older she hopes to become a pre-school teacher, work in the fashion industry, or be a photographer. Carmen would like to thank her sponsor Noel Veihmeyer Private Voice Lessons.”
“Caroline is an 11 year old sixth grader who will be attending Holy Redeemer school in the fall. She is an active member of the Greenbelt municipal swim team and junior girl scout. Caroline has also been a Greenbelt News Review paper deliverer for the past two years and has developed some great relationships with her customers. In her spare time, Caroline loves to read, sing, write music, work on art projects and play sports. She hopes to someday to become a teacher for children with special needs. Caroline would like to thank her sponsor Jersey Mike’s Subs.”
Autumn waits for her turn. “In her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding and spending time with her dog Snowflake. When she is older, Autumn plans to become a marine biologist or veterinarian.”
Now Miss Greenbelt contestants.
“Rebecca is a 16-year old senior attending Eleanor Roosevelt High School. There she is enrolled in their prestigious Science and Technology program, where she is an honor roll student. Aside from her academics, Rebecca is involved in The Desi Indian Hip Hop Fusion Dance Team and The Future Educators of America Club at school. She is accomplished in graphic arts and has published artwork in her school’s Literary Magazine. She enjoys cooking Trinidadian delicacies for her family and friends and hopes one day to become a chef. Rebecca’s immediate goal after high school is to attend college to become a pediatric surgeon. Late in life she hopes to become a successful mother and wife. Rebecca would like to thank her sponsor Apex Care Pharmacy.”
Parvathy. “She is the captain of the Desi Dance Team and the Vice President of the French Honor Society. School is very important to her and she has worked diligently to attain a cumulative GPA of 4.28 and finished her junior year with a 4.57. In her spare time Parvathy enjoys reading, painting, and volunteering at the local soup kitchen. She has spent this summer working at the National Cancer Institute as a lab intern., and worked at the Pathogen Research Institute at the University of Maryland last summer. Parvathy aspires to go to medical school and become a pediatrician in order to combine her passion for helping others and her love of children.”
“Molly is a 15 year old junior attending Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, where she has been an honor roll student and a member of the National Honor Society. She is the recipient of a musical theatre scholarship at her high school, and is very active in the theatre program. She is also a participant in Greenbelt’s own Winter Musical. She spends much of her free time pursuing the arts through private lessons, but Molly also enjoys cooking, the beach, psychology, and spending time with her friends and family. Molly’s dream is to attend a four year university to become a psychologist or chemist in a role that allows her to travel the world. Molly would like to than her sponsor The Greenbelt Federal Credit Union.”
“Sarah is a 16-year-old junior at Elizabeth Seton High School and a third-generation Greenbelter. She loves to serve the community and has done so in several roles including a Creative Kids Camp intern and working with special needs children in the Sunday School program at her church. Sarah is interested in meteorology, particularly severe weather, and keeps the family informed of any storms ahead of the area. She is an accomplished violinist, and frequently performs at local events including a recent benefit for hospice care. Sarah plans to attend one of the fine universities in Maryland to study music and atmospheric science. Sarah would like to thank her sponsor Realty 1.”
The Miss Greenbelt 2011Victoria Gray is introduced last. “As Miss Greenbelt, Victoria especially enjoyed welcoming home U.S. troops at the B.W.I. Airport on New Years Eve. It was a rewarding and emotional experience as she greeted each troop as they made their way to reunite with their families and friends.” This past May, Gray graduate from Eleanor Roosevelt High School and is currently enrolled at Duke University.
This year there are 12 contestants for the Little Miss Greenbelt Pageant, 9 for Junior Miss Greenbelt, and 11 for Miss Greenbelt. The pageant used to have a swimsuit competition but that event was removed in 1982. The next event will be Sunday’s formal wear and public speaking competition.