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Beauty pageant to be held in Massena and Watertown

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MASSENA - North country babies and children will be dressed to the nines Saturday during the annual Sunburst Beauty Pageant.

The first show from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be held in the center court of the St. Lawrence Centre Mall, Massena, and the second will be held in the center court at the Salmon Run Mall, Watertown.

Theresa R. Spooner, founder and executive director of Sunburst USA, Inc., said she started the company and pageants in Florida 36 years ago and branched out across the nation a few years later. She’s been holding the pageants in Northern New York for about 32 years.

“Everybody loves to have their children in something fun and exciting,” Mrs. Spooner said. “What little girl doesn’t love to get dressed up?”

Mrs. Spooner said the pageant will consist of 11 different age groups including boys and girls, who are judged separately, under one year and toddlers. Older girls will also be judged in age cagetories 4-6, 7-10, 11-13, 14-17, and 18-27.

Mrs. Spooner said they usually have seven or eight children in each group who all dress to impress.

“It really builds self-esteem,” she said. “I’ve watched many girls from this area grow up in pageants and go on to be very successful. So, it’s fun, happy, family, wholesome event.”

The contestants will walk across a stage set up in each mall, and parents will carry their infant contestants.

Mrs. Spooner said they will have four professional judges at each location who are involved in modeling, talent or cosmetic agencies across the state.

Finalists will go on to the state finals in Utica in May, where the top scorers will win $1,000 savings bond.

“We’re always looking for cute, new faces,” Mrs. Spooner said.

Contestants may register by 10 a.m. on Saturday for the Massena pageant and by 5 p.m. for the one in Watertown.

Contestants can also register online www.sunburstbeauty.com or call (352)429-4324.

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