The queen plans to join the Coast Guard.
By MONICA BOND
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
BAZETTA -- Tension was high in the fairgrounds office as the 2005 Miss Trumbull County Fair Queen candidates prepared for the second annual Miss Trumbull County Fair beauty pageant Tuesday afternoon.
The 20 contestants used the banquet room, the kitchen and the bathroom to fix their hair, apply makeup and don colorful, shimmering ball gowns for the judging.
It was the first beauty pageant for many of the girls, though some had competed in last year's Miss Trumbull County Fair beauty pageant. Many agreed being on stage didn't make them as nervous the two-minute introductory speech or answering the random question.
Trying it out
Brooke Johnson, 16, from Cortland, had some similar experiences modeling as a child, but had never entered a beauty pageant before.
"I'm real nervous," she said. "Friends of mine did it last year, and they convinced me to do it."
One of last year's contestants was Brittany Scott, 17, also of Cortland. She was the first in her family to enter a beauty pageant.
"I'm kinda the outgoing one who's up for anything," she said.
Scott plans to study criminal psychology and political science at the University of Akron and hopes to join the FBI and work with juvenile delinquents.
The girls agreed the pageant was a fun experience and an opportunity to meet new friends.
"I think all of us are pretty open with each other. Some of the girls who were in it last year are here again and we've become even better friends," Scott said.
Michelle Griffin, the pageant coordinator, said the small pageant lacked the nasty competitiveness sometimes encountered at larger pageants.
Once they were ready, the girls rode golf carts down to the grandstand, and milled around under a tent waiting for the judges to be ready. Judging took place on the Bicentennial Stage.
The girls were introduced one by one by master of ceremonies Frank Marzullo, of WFMJ Channel 21 News, and escorted onstage by 2nd Lt. Brian Gallagher, 910th Airlift Wing Medical Squadron Clinical Nurse, and Senior Airman Michael Rucker, assigned to the 76th Aerial Port Squadron.
After introductions, the girls introduced themselves in a two-minute speech. A brief intermission followed, during which judges Diana Marchese, Trumbull County Recorder; Amanda Beagle, Miss Ohio 2004; and Technical Sergeant Shawn David McCowan, 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs, moved into the shade.
The competition continued as each girl answered a question picked at random from a basket of questions submitted by the candidates.
"They could ask a question on anything they wanted, concerning Trumbull County, teen pressures and family issues, but I did go through them and make sure they were appropriate," Griffin said.
The disappearance of the sashes for the winners delayed the announcement. The judges picked Brittany Joseph, 18, of Warren as 2005 Miss Trumbull County Fair queen, and Danae Bussiger, 18, of Champion as first runner-up. Brittany Raymond, 15, of Bristol was voted Miss Congeniality by the other contestants.
Joseph plans to join the Coast Guard on Sept. 6.
First prize was a $1,000 savings bond sponsored by Roscoe Bros. Inc., of Gustavus and Bud Rogers of Bud's Towing. The first runner-up received a $100 savings bond sponsored by Terry Evans of The Video Shoppe of Kinsman. Miss Congeniality won a $50 gift certificate sponsored by Cortland Custom Counter Top.
The contestants had to be Trumbull County residents between the ages of 15 and 18 the day of the judging. They were judged on poise, overall appearance, application and biography, personality, on-stage question response, and evening gown.
"The application and biography gives the judges a personality feel for the girls," Griffin said.