Pageants go on despite poor entries

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 05:00 04/01/2014
carnival queens
Beautiful winners: This year's carnival queens.

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Beauty pageants at the Caroline Bay Carnival are here to stay, despite fewer entrants this carnival.

Caroline Bay Association president Kevin Ancell said entry numbers for the annual competitions this year were a slight disappointment, with only three competing in Miss Caroline Bay and five each in the Princess of the Sands and Queen of the Carnival events.

Mr Ancell said he could remember a time in the 1960s when every young girl wanted to be Princess of the Sands and the number of competitors on stage for each section was three deep and five long.

But stereotypes against pageants could be a reason for the disappointing turnout, he said, with people tending to look sideways at such competitions.

Despite this, he said the competitions were still a great event in the carnival and could help young girls with self-confidence and to further their careers.

"We intend to do exactly what we're doing for the next 100 years."

The carnival plays host to 16 pageant-type competitions including fancy dress, Tiny Tots, Master Caroline Bay, Princess of the Sands and Queen of the Carnival.

Other free entertainment has always been a drawcard to the carnival, as well as the rides and games on offer.

The bad weather caused a disappointing start to the carnival in terms of attendee numbers, but Mr Ancell said numbers had picked up in recent days, with 2000 to 3000 a day.

He said it was great to see big numbers down on the bay on New Year's Eve watching the fireworks.

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- The Timaru Herald

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