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Not Miss America: 37 Queens of Pageants Off-the-Beaten-Path

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Beauty Pageants are a time-honored  tradition. It’s become almost cliche to oppose them from a feminist standpoint; however, once upon a time they were an integral part of our culture, in America in particular.  It seemed every town had its own local queen – a Miss Magnolia State, a Miss Pierce County or a Miss Wilcox Agricultural Fair.   Today, we’re looking at snapshots of beauty queen contestants and winners from pageants off the beaten path from Miss America and Miss Universe.

 

1. Miss Tarpon Roundup Queen

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Do you recall some of the classic beauty contests from TV episodes?  Here’s a few that I can recall:

Miss United States – The Bionic Woman
Miss Chrysanthemum – Charlie’s Angels
Miss Tri-Counties – Dukes of Hazzard
Miss Castaway – Gilligan’s Island
Miss Arnold’s – Happy Days

 

2. Miss Industry (St. Petersberg, Florida)

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That man in the center… his stare….must resist….must resist…

 

3. Miss Florida Teenager

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At Grand Openings and Ground Breaking Ceremonies there was always a “Miss Something-or-other” in attendance

 

4. Miss Interstate 75

Miss I-75 USA Beauty Pageant

I-75 runs through these six states.  Who will win?  My money’s on Miss Ohio – she seems to have the half-crazed pageant expression down pat.

 

5. Miss Florida DeSoto Queen 1963

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On this day: “Puff the Magic Dragon” hits #2 and Natasha Richardson is born. On the day before, the Rolling Stones are signed to a record label…. but more importantly, the DeSoto Park is dedicated.

Two more DeSoto Queens for good measure…

1964 Florida, De Soto Queen

 

6. Miss Sunken Gardens 1967

1967 Florida Miss Sunken Gardens

Below, the new Miss Sunken Gardens, Miss Tiki Gardens and other pageant queens are there to fill a man’s cup.

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7. Miss Kansas 1968

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Keotane was a brand of gasoline distributed by Skelly Oil, primarily in the Midwest.

 

8. Miss Denver

1961 Miss Denver, CO Contestants

The 1961 Miss Denver contestants acting like best friends. You know it was another story behind the scenes. “So sorry you had to sit on the floor, Maureen. I certainly hope it didn’t ruin your posture. That would be such a shame.”

1963 Miss Denver, Colorado Contestants

1963 Miss Denver Colorado contestants nervously hanging on his every word.

 

9. Miss Colorado World 1968

1968 Denver, Colorado Miss Colorado World

1968 contestants – biggest hair and shortest skirt wins

 

10. Miss Civitan Fruit Cake 1968

1968 Kathy Hahn Queen President John Bridge Civitan Fruit Cake

Kathy Hahn, Queen, getting a lift from fellas only too happy to oblige.

 

11. Miss Sertoma Follies 1970

1970 Clearwater, FL Miss Sertoma Follies

Clearwater, Florida

 

12. Miss Tall Universe 1970

1970 Miss Tall Universe

The 1970 Miss Tall Universe  winner is Miss Tall San Fernando Valley – Pamela Bissinger (6’0″) . (Note: Miss Tall Universe became Miss Tall International in 1974.)

 

13. Miss St. Petersburg Beach 1971

1971 Miss St Petersburg Beach, Florida

Yes, I know.  Florida is overly represented in this list.   Apologies.

 

14. Miss Largo 1972

1972 Miss Largo, Florida

Kudos to this driver who can keep his eye on the road with Miss Largo’s butt in his face.

 

15. Miss Northglenn 1972

1972 Miss Northglenn, Colorado

This guy is getting way too much out of attaching the ribbon to Miss Northglenn 1972. She seems to be picking up on his creepy vibe.

 

16. Miss Spirit of America 1972

1972 Miss Spirit of America

 

17. Miss New Port Richey 1972

1972 Port Richey, FL Mayor John Durney

 

18. Miss Teen Rocky Mountain State 1967

1967 Teen Beauty Queens, Miss Teen Rocky Mountain State

 

19.  Miss Soap Box Derby 1967

1967 St Petersburg Florida Miss Soap Box Derby

A few of these runner’s-up don’t appear to be happy for the winner – the loser on the right is literally giving her the stink eye.

 

20. Miss Florida Citrus Queen 1965

1965 Florida Citrus Queen

 

21. Miss Autorama

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22. Miss Home Show (Tacoma, Washington)

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I love how they just took a regular chair cushion and put it on a table for her to sit on.  This sure isn’t the Miss America pageant.

 

23. Miss Pierce County

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I don’t know if I’d want to share a licorice with these guys.  I’m just sayin’.

 

24. Miss Camel

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Miss Camel GT sitting on the Camaro (IMSA Racing series) probably 1973 or 1974 with driver Vince Gimondo.  Camel cigarettes used to be a big supporter of auto racing.

 

25. Miss Redondo Beach

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Keep it together, Skipper!  After being stranded with Ginger and Mary Ann, you’d think this would be no big deal.

 

26. Miss Nationals 1969 and 27. Miss Harvest Queen 1967

 

miss nationals and harvest queen

Gold go-go boots – Groovy!

 

28. Miss Airport 1970

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I’m betting the winner will come from the front row.  Just a hunch.

Also, if you’ve seen Airport ’70, this will likely not end well.

 

29.  Miss Alice in Dairyland (Wisconsin)

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Believe it or not, Wisconsin still has the Alice in Dairyland pageant to this day.

 

30. Miss Putt Putt

miss putt putt

 

Miss Putt Putt Golf – probably not the most esteemed pageant, but it’s a start. …. and it’s better than Miss Putt-R-Golf…

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31. Miss Hurst Golden Shifter

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The ever-beautiful Linda Vaughn, an icon of the glory days of the motorsports world.

 

32. Miss Palm Springs

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Note: I can’t definitively say this is Miss Palm Springs – but I can say that is Bob Hope… and he is taking his judging responsibility very seriously.

And speaking of old celebrity farts and pageant queens, here’s George Burns (and Florence Henderson) with Miss Michigan:

1992 George Burns Florence Henderson Miss Michigan

 

 33. Miss Speed Weeks

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34.  Miss Banana Boat Queen 1973

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35.  Miss Claxton Fruitcake 1965

1966 Miss Fruitcake Jeri Reddish Queen Legs Mayor Herman Goldner

Miss Fruitcake, Jerri Reddish, is being fed a fruitcake very awkwardly by St. Petersburg mayor, Herman Goldner.

 

36. Miss Seminole Teenager 1971

1971 Florida Beauty Queens, Miss Seminole Teenager

Also present, Miss North St. Petersburg Teen-Ager and Miss St. Petersburg Teen-Ager.

 

37. Miss Broward County

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For more ribbon cutting mamas, check out When Ribbon Cutting Was Sexy: A Look At Ceremonial Babes of Yore.  Cheers!

 

THE END

US Playboy 1970 09_194Posterotica

 

 

  • timdub70

    This article only scratched the surface. It seems that every rodeo in the US has a queen. Many of the beauty queens at NASCAR races have been replaced by the Miss Winstons in the 70s through 90s to the Miss Sprint Cups of today. There are three Miss Sprint Cups and they are usually in the firesuits like the drivers wear. IndyCar and Formula 1 also have their groups.

  • Another OUTSTANDING post Yeoman Lowbrow Dude

    I like your style of blogging – Thanks

    Miss Songkran (Thailand)

  • I need to get you some pictures of Queen Neelah, from Neewollah in Independence, KS. Neewollah is Halloween spelled backwards and it’s a huge week-long festival they have. The Queen Neelah goes back to 1919 when the festival started.

  • 1ridder1

    It;s Thursday, so I know it’s not a resurgence of one the the best blog post series “Mini Skirt Mondays”

  • Andy 50

    Am I the only one to notice the price of gas in the Miss Kansas picture. 19 gallons of gas for 7.00.

  • Lacey W

    And where are all those “winners” now?