7 Things to Know about the National Sweetheart Pageant
1. Until 2016, National Sweetheart contestants were the 1st runners-up from each Miss America state pageant. Often times if the 1st runner-up wasn’t available, then someone from the top 5 would represent that state. Due to recent changes at Miss America, Sweetheart is now an open pageant for young women between the ages of 19 and 26 who submit an application for entry. Even though it is an “open pageant” the majority of contestants come from the Miss America system. Almost all of us competed in our state pageants and wish to have a national pageant experience. At this pageant, we will be the “Sweethearts” of our state, so my title will be “Minnesota Sweetheart.”
2. National Sweetheart is held every year over Labor Day weekend, right before Miss America. There are 2 days of competition with the crowning of the new National Sweetheart on Sunday night before Labor Day. The current Miss Hoopeston is the hostess each year for the pageant.
3. Contestants stay with host families during the week. I’ll be in a house with 2 other fellow contestants. I can’t wait to meet my host family!
4. The judges for National Sweetheart are former Miss America state directors, local directors, volunteers, and titleholders from around the country, all veterans of MAO! They know the ins and outs of Miss America and provide contestants with top notch national judging experience.
5. Sweetheart follows all the same phases of competition as Miss America. They will be following Miss America 1.0 rules for this year, so I’ll compete in “Lifestyle and Fitness." However, there is one additional area of competition at Sweetheart: the parade costume. The Sweetheart parade is on Saturday. Each contestant creates a parade costume which reflects something about her state or her community, much like the “Show Us Your Show” parade in Atlantic City. Scoring is 5%. I can't wait to show off my costume!
6. Scholarships are awarded to the top 5 along with many other awards presented to the contestants!
7. In the 75 years since National Sweetheart was started, there have been many young ladies who entered and went on to win their state titles in subsequent years. In fact, 9 women who competed at Sweetheart have won the title of Miss America.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about the National Sweetheart Pageant. Be sure to follow me over Labor Day as I meet my Sweetheart sisters from around the country. Already the contestants and I have been talking daily, getting to know each other, swapping costume ideas and offering moral support for one another. I’m looking forward to not only enjoying the best sweetcorn ever, but to experiencing the wonderful hospitality of Hoopeston and meeting the rest of the Sweethearts! You can follow Sweetheart on Facebook or visit their website for more Sweetheart information.
See you in Hoopeston!
Your Minnesota Sweetheart,