SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The Sylacauga Parks and Recreation Department has begun preparation for the 80th annual Miss Sylacauga and Fourth annual Miss Marble Valley pageant.

Miss Sylacauga is known for its long history as the longest running preliminary to Miss Alabama. The Department is extremely excited to highlight past winners at the pageant this upcoming spring.

“We are inviting back all of our former Miss Sylacauga winners to be showcased in the pageant,” said Jim Armstrong, Director of Sylacauga Parks and Recreation. “It is going to be a fun night! We will even have a reception following the pageant for all the past winners.”

Although there are pageant aspects to the event, Armstrong said it is truly a scholarship program.

“We are just trying to get them money for their education,” said Armstrong.

Miss Sylacauga contestants are guaranteed scholarship money by just participating. The money is made available through the Maxye Veazey Scholarship. Veazey was the program director of the Sylacauga Parks and Recreation for many years and was instrumental in starting Miss Sylacauga. All scholarship money goes directly to the school that the contestant attends.

The Department will also hold the Little Mister and Miss Sylacauga Pageant in November for children ages 3-12. All proceeds from the pageant will go to the Miss Sylacauga scholarship fund.

“Miss Sylacauga is a local preliminary to Miss Alabama…the winner could go on to be Miss America,” said Armstrong.

Miss Sylacauga contestants will participate in five phases of competition: private interview, onstage question, swimsuit, talent, and evening gown. Teen contestants will compete in four phases: private interview, physical fitness, talent, and evening wear and onstage question. They will be graded by a diverse judges panel from different parts of Alabama.

To compete in Miss Sylacauga, contestants must be a resident of Talladega County, but Miss Marble Valley is open to any citizen residing in the state. For both, participants must be between the ages of 18-24. The same residential requirements apply to Miss Sylacauga’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Marble Valley’s Outstanding Teen. These young ladies must be between the ages of 13-17. To participate, paperwork is available at J. Craig Smith Community Center and must be completed and returned by January 13, 2017.

You can also download forms here for Miss Sylacauga, Miss Marble Valley, Miss Teen Sylacauga, and Miss Teen Marble Valley.

The pageant will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2017, in the Sylacauga High School auditorium.

The winner of Miss Sylacauga and Miss Marble Valley will compete for the title of Miss Alabama in June 2017 at Samford University in Birmingham. Miss Sylacauga’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Marble Valley’s Outstanding Teen will compete in March 2018 in Sylacauga for the crown of Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen.

Caitlyn McTier for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2016, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Michael Brannon is a former news and sports anchor from Mobile, Ala. and serves as Director of Business Development, Manager of Digital Projects and Strategy, and Managing Editor of SylacaugaNews.com.