Monday, July 11, 2011

Miss Georgetown Queen's Tea Contestant Orientation

On Sunday, June 10th Miss Georgetown Fair 2010 Danielle Sacre hosted her Queen's Tea at the Georgetown fairgrounds.  The Queen's Tea is an annual summer event that serves as the new contestant orientation for the Georgetown Fair Queen Pageant.

The Georgetown Fair is one of the largest fairs in Illinois with over 50,000 visitors during their week-long fair in 2010.  The fair is hosted by the queen and her court, and the queen opens every grandstand event during the week.

As the directors of Miss Georgetown, Karen and Jill are two of the best pageant directors in the country - and we have traveled all across the United States visiting fairs, festivals, and pageants in various systems.  Bottom line: the young women of Georgetown are lucky to have such talented and dedicated directors as Karen and Jill.  Simply stated, their queen's tea contestant orientation is far beyond what we see taking place in national pageant systems, even at the state and national level.

Miss Georgetown is about demonstrating excellence from the moment you hit the door.  The fairgrounds conference hall was carefully set up hours in advance for the prospective contestants.  Each table was covered in while linen and had a special center piece depicting the theme for this year's pageant.

The 2011 Contestant Packet is the first thing handed to the girls when they arrive.  The contestant packet contains a complete schedule for the next few weeks and even has paperwork examples.  Queen Danielle greeted contestants as they entered and gave them their packets.

Being Miss Georgetown is an unrivaled experience, and the new fair queen will have a year filled with exciting appearances and a trip to the state pageant in January.  2010 Queen Danielle had two eight foot tables covered in memorabilia from her year, and she even displayed her winning blue evening gown at the orientation.  Queen Danielle makes fair more appearances that we have been used to in national pageant systems, so the tables were covered with photo albums, large scrapbooks and framed pictures.  Queen Danielle actually had an entire 12x12 scrapbook just for her parade pictures.  It is truly amazing the experience a young woman gets at Miss Georgetown, and we are really thrilled to be doing the pictures for them.

The while linen treatment included a buffet of snacks and deserts, which was a welome break for the contestants as they worked through program guidelines and frequently asked questions about the pageant.  The snacks and desserts were artfully displayed and fit for a queen.

2010 Queen Danielle is pictured here with 2009 Queen Chelsea.  Chelsea volunteered at the tea and helped contestants fill out their info cards.  Chelsea is currently a student at Indiana State University.

Queen Danielle gave a short talk about her experience as Miss Georgetown.  Not only did Danielle talk about how much she enjoyed making appearances, but she also mentioned how being promoted as Miss Georgetown has created job opportunities.

Here is Director Karen in action going over basic information about the Miss Georgetown Queen Pageant.  The contestants will participate in a month of practices and workshops to help them get ready for the pageant.  During the orientation Karen gives early advice about everything from Facebook to wardrobe selection, and she explains how every contestant will have the chance to do a complete mock interview before pageant day.

Keep reading Josh and Joe Travels as we continue our journey with Miss Georgetown!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Miss Georgetown in the Potomac July 4th Parade

For July 4th we traveled to Potomac. Illinois, to see Miss Georgetown in the Potomac 4th of July Parade.  Queen Danielle is the current Miss Georgetown Fair and we were excited to see her in the parade.  Miss Georgetown is one of the busiest fair queens we've ever met.  As a fair queen Miss Georgetown competes in the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant held each year in January, and you can look for an older post with pictures of Queen Danielle at the state pageant.

The Georgetown Fair is in August, so Miss Georgetown makes lots of appearances during the summer promoting the fair and the queen pageant.  Queen Danielle was dressed in red, white and blue and her convertible was decked out with lots of flags and special decorations thanks to her directors Karen and Jill. And don't forget Connie, who was actually running the show at the Potomac Parade!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cincinnati zoo and fun things to do

The Cincinnati Zoo is a terrific summer destination for families and anyone who loves wildlife, so we made a trip to visit the zoo late in June.  We probably visit the Cincinnati Zoo about once a year.  The Cincinnati Zoo is older than the Indianapolis Zoo and some of the older design features, such as the cat grottos, make Cinci a little bit better suited for photography that some newer zoos.  Many new zoos are incorporating innovative features to create a really dynamic experience for young visitors.  In some cases this means replacing traditional fencing or bars with gigantic windows.  These windows are great for close-up viewing, so if you have a kid in your life, look for these window features.  Unfortunately, these windows can sometimes create challenges for photography.

The Cincinnati Zoo has their big cats and many other animals in grottos.  If you haven't seen the grottos, they are basically big pits or sunken areas where the animals live.  The depth of the grotto prevents the animal from escaping, and there is normally an elevating observation position.  At the Cincinnati Zoo, this means you can photograph the big cats and other large animals in environments that are completely free of obstructions such as traditional fences.  Beyond the photography advantages, the Cincinnati Zoo has some truly amazing old architecture.  Recently the Cincinnati Zoo has renovated their Vine Street entrance and created a new main entry area, so they are adding innovative modern features to the zoo property.  When you arrive at the Cinci Zoo and the main parking lot, you will see one of the larges solar power arrays in the United States.  Pay close attention, the solar panels are easy to mistake for gigantic carports.  Then you take an escalator up to a pedestrian bridge over Vine Street to enter the zoo.  Very cool.  Very amusement park.

In Cincinnati we love shopping at Kenwood Towne Center and Rookwood Commons and Pavilion.  Rookwood is two outdoor shopping centers that are connected to each other.  On one side you will find the expected specialty retail stores, and on the other are large discount stores like Steinmart, TJMaxx, Homegoods and Nordstrom Rack.  Nordstrom Rack is hands down one of the best places to buy shoes.  On our last visit we found shoes at Rack for $70 less than what they were selling for the same weekend everywhere else.  Kenwood Towne Center is one of our favorite malls.  Kenwood is in progress with a big addition, but they already have one of the best Macy's we've every visited.  Plus they have Dillards and the other great department stores you'd expect.  Kenwood is home to a Papyrus store, so if you wait long enough you will probably catch us in there looking for Bella.

There is lot's to do in Cinci, and it is only about 75 minutes from Indianapolis.  Keep reading Josh and Joe Travels for more tips and ideas about visiting Cincinnati.  Happy Travels!