Mother Jennifer King holds her daughter Reese King's tiara on her head after winning the title of 2012 Toddler Miss Gwinnett at the Gwinnett County Fair.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Move over Honey Boo Boo, because there are other girls who want to wear the toddler tiara in these parts.
Friday night, the Gwinnett County Fair presented its Toddler Miss Gwinnett Pageant with five contestants, all wearing white shoes, ruffled socks and sequined dresses.
The tots trotted around the stage with mom in tow while attempting to smile at the crowd and walk at the same time. The audience learned the girls' favorite colors, hobbies and aspirations, which included learning their A-B-Cs and becoming a Disney princess.
During the stage walks, five judges were front and center scoring each contestant.
"With the younger ones, we give a little," Pageant judge Jodi Fallowfield of Snellville said. "We have to go by beauty, personality, poise and modeling, then the overall appearance, (like) if the child has eye contact, wearing the appropriate dress, personality ... (that they are) cutesy, not crying or have to be picked up and carried ... and not a lot of makeup
for little girls."
After a few minutes of deliberation, all of the ladies took home a trophy, but it was Reese King of Buford who took home the new title. The 2011 toddler winner, Ava Shaffren, was on hand to give the new pageant queen her crown, trophy and sash.
"It's a good experience for her to get used to being in front of people and help build confidence, especially at a young age," Reese's mom, Jennifer King, said.
The pageants at the fair aren't like the ones seen on TV, which are "glitz" pageants, according to Becky Roberts, director of Miss Gwinnett Pageant.
"We're the traditional, normal pageants," she said. "On those shows, you have little girls at this age (toddler) that end up looking like they're 10 or 12. When you see the before and after, by the time they get the hairpiece, mouthpiece and everything else ... they look completely different."
Tonight at 8 p.m., 11 young women ages 17 to 24 vie for a crown and a $1,200 scholarship toward college, and the winner will represent the county at the Miss Georgia Pageant in June 2013. Last year's scholarship winner, Annie Wilson, will crown the next Miss Gwinnett County recipient.