By Heather Killen
The Town of Middleton will not be entering a princess in this year’s Apple Blossom Festival.
Susan MacDonald, recreation director for the town of Middleton, told councillors during the meeting of the Committee of the Whole on April 28 that no candidates expressed interest in becoming the next Princess Middleton. “But Middleton isn’t alone, several other towns aren’t sending princesses either,” she said. “It’s very time consuming, especially if the princess is working.”
Greenwood and Bridgetown will not be entering princesses this year, and MacDonald said that over the last few years, interest in the annual pageant seems to be declining.
Some towns are talking about replacing the princesses with youth ambassadors, and opening the roles to male participants.
The Apple Blossom Festival committee may look at revamping the program next year, she added.
Councillor Brian Neville said he was disappointed to hear that the program may be discontinued, as it offered unique opportunities to build confidence in public speaking, participate in official functions, and meet a variety of people. “It isn’t so much a beauty contest, it offers the candidates valuable experiences,” he said. “And many of the young women made lifelong friendships.”
In recent years fewer candidates are expressing interest in participating in the annual pageant. The rising costs of participating in events are also discouraging for many.
Princesses need budgets for clothes, travel, and expenses related to the various functions. MacDonald added that it can amount to thousands of dollars.
The town float will still be entered into as many events as possible to promote the town’s upcoming Centennial Celebration, but it could be going solo.
Councillors then suggested that in lieu of a princess, the class of 2008 could ride in style on the float; or a perhaps the town’s designated volunteers of the year.
Other suggestions included the Town Crier, and Middleton’s oldest citizen.
No interest, no princess for Middleton
Royalty problems for Apple Blossom Festival
By Heather Killen
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