NORWICH – A local tradition celebrates a 40th anniversary ... In 1970, the Chenango Community Players, a local theatre group, was asked by the fair committee to hold two evenings of entertainment in front of the grandstand. A member of the players had competed the previous year in a pageant at the Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. Based on her experience, she suggested to the group that a local teen-ager pageant be part of the entertainment.
After receiving a resounding approval on the idea, a search for local contestants began and the pageant was held with 12 teens from all over Chenango County. The winner that year was Debbie Hill of Greene. The following year the players decided they did not want to continue to do two evenings of entertainment and so the official torch was handed to Dick and Lola Gillespie.
Every August since that time, the Miss Chenango County Teen-ager Pageant has been held at the fairgrounds as part of the annual fair events and this year we will crown our 40th Miss Chenango County Teen-ager! The pageant will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 12 at the fairgrounds in Norwich.
As part of our 40th anniversary celebration, we are welcoming ALL teen contestants to join us this year for FREE. Eligibility requirements are that the contestant be between the ages of 13-19, unmarried and without children. Additionally, she must work, live, or go to school within Chenango County. As part of the winner’s prize package, she will represent Chenango County in the Miss Teen-Ager of New York Pageant, also a Gillespie Pageant that is held here in Norwich every August.
Over the years we have crowned Miss Chenango County Teen-agers from Afton, Greene, Guilford, New Berlin, Norwich, Oxford, Pitcher, Plymouth, Sherburne, South New Berlin and South Plymouth. Two of our Sherburne Miss Chenango County Teen-agers went on to win the state competition, Miss Teen-Ager of New York. Those lucky ladies were Claudeen Travis in 1985 and Amy Weisse in 1991...