Five girls vie for Miss Exeter crown

107th annual Fall Festival will continue with Miss Exeter scholarship program and 9th annual Scarecrow Contest beginning on Oct. 1

EXETER – Anything that lasts 107 years is strong enough to withstand a Great Depression, a Great Recession, two world wars and a global pandemic, wait, make that two global pandemics.

Not even COVID-19 will break Exeter’s longest running tradition next week when the Exeter Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Fall Festival celebration. That’s not to say the virus hasn’t changed what it will look like. Instead of holding a week’s worth of festivities beginning with the Miss Exeter Coronation dinner and culminating with a fun-filled Saturday, this year’s Fall Festival has been dwindled down to a scholarship program to support the future of the community and its most socially distanced activity, a scarecrow contest.

The Scarecrow Contest begins tomorrow on Oct. 1 and runs through the end of the month. Scarecrows must be created from scratch and be in good taste. The deadline to register a scarecrow was Sept. 18 but those who did not build a scarecrow can still vote for their favorites. First place winners in each category (Organization/Nonprofit, Business, Family/Individual, and Youth Group Organization) will receive $75 in chamber gift certificates and second place winners will be presented with a plaque. Best of Show will receive $200 in gift certificates and their name added to the perpetual trophy. Winners will be chosen based on total number of website votes received plus extra credit points for meeting deadlines and completing tasks, along with scores from our anonymous panel of local judges.

On Monday, Oct. 5, the chamber will crown the next Miss Exeter. Five Exeter Union High School seniors are competing in this year’s personal development and scholarship program. They are: Allison Paragien, Brooklyn Blackmon, Lauren McEwen, Samantha Reeder and Solmia Moreno.

The winner will also represent the community at events in Exeter and throughout the area during their one-year reign. Candidates must be an Exeter High School student or live in the EUHS district, be a senior, and a full-time student. Whomever is crowned Miss Exeter will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the chamber. Miss Exeter and her court will each receive gift packets with items donated by local merchants and businesses, as well as a lifetime of memories.

Each candidate will be judged on the following items: A personal essay (500-750 words), a five- to 10-minute verbal presentation via Zoom, a 10-minute special presentation, using photos and slide shows, the sale of virtual raffle tickets for the chamber and participation and cooperation during the candidate process.

Time is running out to support your favorite Miss Exeter candidate. You can purchase raffle tickets from your candidate of choice in the upcoming Miss Exeter Opportunity Drawing by visiting https://www.raffle.exeterchamber.com/shop/. Raffle tickets are $3 per ticket or $30 for a book of 12 tickets. Sponsors for this year’s Fall Festival are: Exeter City Dance; Exeter Irrigation, A Division of Landmark Irrigation, Inc.; Exeter Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Sally; Garrett German Harvest Wealth Group; Kiwanis Club of Exeter; Nielsen & Associates Insurance Services, Inc and Office Source 360.

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