The Hootin an Hollarin Queen Pageant will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20

The 2018 Hootin an Hollarin queen candidates include, clockwise from left, (front row) Jaima DeVries, Gracie Johnston, Abby Mahan; (middle row) Kayla Lee, Kaitlyn Morse, Libby Pansano, Haley Mack, Ruthanne Doebler; (back row) Star Janes, A’Aisha Sykes, Hunter McCullough, Lily Parker, Sarah Jennings and Hannah See. Not pictured, Branetta McNece.

Hootin an Hollarin opens Thursday evening with music from Modern August and the Kattie Laney Project followed by the annual queen pageant at 7:30 p.m., when a big crowd gathers on the east side of the square to cheer for some of Ozark County’s most talented and charming teenage girls competing for the honor of being 2018 Hootin an Hollarin queen.

At press time, 16 girls had signed up to compete in the 2018 event. There will be contestants from Gainesville, Bakersfield Thornfield and Lutie, and a good mix of returning queen candidates and new participants. They’ll be donning their old-timey dresses and joining emcee Ray Gross at the microphone, one by one, to answer questions designed to let them show their creativity and imagination. 

While the judges’ scores are tallied, this year’s Hootin an Hollarin parade marshal, William Walrath, will be recognized (see page 50), along with this year’s recipients of the Barney Douglas Citizen of the Year award, Wayne and Doris Sayles (see page 20).

The pageant’s co-directors are Pamela Cramm and Becki Strong; other pageant committee members include Jerri Sue Crawford and Nancy Walker, who help the girls find dresses and transportation to rehearsals. Marilyn Tilley decorates the stage.

Each year’s pageant also includes the naming of Miss Sweetie Pie, the girl chosen by the contestants themselves as their favorite. As always, this year’s contestants represent every corner of Ozark County, and they’re sure to give this year’s judges a real challenge in choosing the 2018 queen of Hootin an Hollarin. She’ll be crowned by 2017 queen Payton Hubbard.

Ozark County Times

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