FARMINGTON — The Miss Farmington Fair Pageant will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 15, during the Farmington Fair.

Started by Lisa Bird of Gorham in 1999, the pageant has grown to be a crowd favorite each year and kicks off the excitement of the annual Farmington Fair.

In 1998 Bob Underwood, Bird’s father and past fair president, asked her if she had any suggestions for entertainment opportunities that could be added to the fair. “I immediately said that they needed a pageant,” said Bird. “I had always enjoyed watching the pageants at local fairs and festivals in Maine, and also had a long personal history with state and national pageants. I just knew it would be a hit.” The following year Bird hosted the first Miss Farmington Fair Pageant with over 20 contestants.

The event is not a beauty pageant. Rather, it is a pageant with a focus on their confidence, personality and stage presence. The girls are judged in three categories: interview, talent and formal presentation. In addition, they can also compete for the title of Miss Hospitality, which is all about fair involvement. Other prizes offered include Miss Congeniality and an award for best essay. None of the added competitions have any effect on the outcome of the MFF titles.

Over the years the contestants have entertained audiences with a variety of talent: Singing and dancing, playing musical instruments, Karate demonstrations, stand-up comedy, poetry readings, painting, monologues, gymnastics and baton twirling.

Bird will hand over the reins to two new co-directors during this year’s pageant. Bird said, “20 years seems like the perfect time to retire. The Franklin County Agricultural Society has been so supportive all these years and I am incredibly grateful to them for all that they have done for the pageant. I have met some amazing young ladies, watched many of them grow up in to incredible women. It’s going to be hard to let it go, but after 20 years of watching the girls from back stage, I am looking forward to being able to come back to the fair each year and watch the show from the stands.”

The reigning 2018 queens will hand over their titles during the 6:30 p.m. pageant. Current title holders are: Little Miss Farmington Fair, Elizabeth Schiche; Junior Miss Farmington Fair, Leyani Robinson; Miss Farmington Fair 2018, Leslie Kaut; and Miss Farmington Fair Collegiate, Emily Williams.

Contestants applications are being accepted for the 20th annual Miss Farmington Fair Pageant to be held on at the Farmington Fair Grounds. Preparation, rehearsals and interview competitions will take place Sept. 15 at 1:30 p.m.

Girls who reside in Franklin County and the surrounding area and are between the ages of 7 and 22 are invited to compete for the titles of Miss FF Collegiate (19-22), Miss Farmington Fair (15-18), Junior Miss Farmington Fair (11-14), Little Miss Farmington Fair (7-10) and Miss Hospitality. Prizes also awarded are essay, Miss Congeniality and runner-up.

A snack and pizza will be provided to the girls during the day and trophies and some cash prizes will be awarded from the Franklin County Agricultural Society.

Past queens are encouraged to attend in crown and banner and are welcome to perform the opening number and their own talent. MFF past queens will be asked to appear onstage to share an update on what they have been doing.

Those interested in participating as a judge should send a letter of interest to [email protected]

For an application, call Bird at 207-839-5578 or email her at [email protected] Deadline for applications is Friday, Sept. 13. For more information, go to Facebook at

Group of contestants from the 2015 Miss Farmington Fair Pageant.

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