Please welcome the two newest members of the Miss New York Class of 2015! Kristina King, Miss Apple Festival, and Emma Silen, Miss NYS Fair, have just been approved to compete in the 2015 Miss New York pageant as “at-large” contestants.
What is at-large? If a girl who is eligible for Miss locals competes in a Fair/Festival pageant with similar competition categories, she can apply to compete at Miss New York “at-large”. This just means she didn’t win an official preliminary. A specific fair or festival pageant is allowed to send a representative 3 times before they will be required to apply for an official franchise license.
Once an at-large contestant is approved, she is an official State Contestant, and is equal to her Miss NY Sisters. She has the exact same expectations (and benefits) of other local titleholders. However, she does not receive all of the same perks as other contestants. An official local pageant will supply the local titleholder with her sash, crown, and contribute to many of the Miss New York week expenses, as well as provide her with a minimum scholarship. At-large contestants do not have a local board of directors (although her festival/fair sponsor may stay involved) and is responsible for purchasing her own sash and crown, covering expenses, and paying the at-large fee. Is it worth it? That’s up to the contestant to decide.
Former “at-large” contestants include Miss Buffalo Wild Wing (following the dissolution of the official preliminary, Miss Buffalo Wild Wing attended at-large as Miss Buffalo), Miss Fonda Fair (both at the Miss and Teen level), Miss Forest Queen (previously an official preliminary, but currently a festival community pageant), and Miss Adirondack International Speedway, as well as others.
Competing at-large is a wonderful option to gain the opportunity to compete at Miss New York with a local pageant title that is truly close to your heart. Thank you to the Lioness Club of Central Square, the Great New York State Fair, and Salt City Royalty for giving these contestants the tools they need to compete at Miss New York, and be wonderful titleholders in the community.