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Laurel Contestants Gather For First Meeting of the Year

WINSTED — The Laurel City Commission held its annual Laurel Contestant Tea Party at Laurel Hill Healthcare May 6 for 2007 Laurel Festival contestants to answer questions and provide details about this year’s events.

Twenty contestants were given information about the weekend full of activities, scheduled for June 8, 9 and 10. Commission Chairman Elizabeth Durham gave an introductory speech about the pageant and requirements of contestants, who are judged on academics, community activism, eloquence and affability.

Pageant Coordinator Sandy Griswold provided information on judging, dress and the weekend’s activities in brief. Griswold said she had practically raised some of the 2007 contestants, and became emotional as she spoke to them about their participation in the festivities.

The young ladies were further educated about the annual Laurel Ball by Lynette McCarthy and about the annual Sunday parade by Deb Reynolds. Some of the girls seemed overwhelmed with the information thrown at them.

"We press the concern toward your behavior," said Reynolds. "The judges are watching you all weekend."

Griswold said contestants in the past have been disqualified for inappropriate behavior such as fighting with boyfriends and getting caught up in other scandalous behavior.

Contestants, parents and commission members adjourned to enjoy plates of baked goodies prepared by the commission members. Photos were taken and goodbyes were said as the girls and their mothers thanked the commission members.

Contestants ages 17 to 22 are still invited to join the festival activities.

For more information about being a contestant for the Laurel Festival and a complete schedule of the festival events, visit laurelfestival.com or call Elizabeth Durham at 860-605-0113.

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