by Tracey Robinson
“It’s been something we have been meaning to organise for some time now; it should prove to be a very exciting addition to the festival,” says Jerry Donahue, Festival President.
Festival organisers have been working hard trying to define what the pageant will be.
“It should first and foremost be a celebration of Irish Heritage, and an opportunity for young ladies to explore that heritage, and make their findings a relevant part of their lives. It is the hope of the festival committee that these young women embrace what they have learned and reciprocate these discoveries so future generations will always be aware of where they came from.”
The contestants, who will be between the ages of 16 and 19 years and residents of Northumberland County, will first have to demonstrate that they are of Irish ancestry, no matter how distant.
They will then be asked to demonstrate knowledge of their Irish ancestry and its importance to them in a 1000-word essay to be submitted to event judges before June 1st, 2005. The essay is only one of several criteria the girls will be judged on. Contestants will also be subject to a series of interviews to be held weeks before the pageant itself. They will have to endure a series of questions covering a wide spectrum of issues from their Irish roots to their future plans.
Also, on the evening of the pageant, in formal wear, they will be given three questions to answer before a panel of judges and the public. This combined with the essay and the pre-pageant interview results will give us the first Miramichi Irish Rose.
She will be asked to reign over the festival by making several appearances — the parade, opening ceremonies, and closing ceremonies, to name a few. The rose will embody what the festival stands for, and what the Irish have become as a community since our ancestors arrived here long ago. She will be someone who will represent our festival and our community to the many visitors to Miramichi during the festival, and will no doubt exceed all expectations.
The event should not be regarded as a beauty pageant, the contestants will be judged only on the aforementioned criteria. It is simply a way for young ladies to express their pride in their Irish heritage in a contest format.
For general information about the pageant feel free to contact the Irish Festival office at 778-8810, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entrance deadline is June 1st. Do not wait to submit your intention, preparation time will be very important. Good luck to all from the 22nd Irish Festival board of directors: Jerry Donahue, President; Gene Kelly, Vice-President; Andrew McLaughlin, Secretary; Paul O’Hara, Treasurer; Susan Keoughan, Joni Cormier and Tracey Robinson.
Find out more about all the events happening this year at Canada’s Irish Festival on the Miramichi by visiting their website.