NORTH OGDEN -- Financial problems are clouding the future of a Top of Utah tradition for young ladies: city pageants that are a path to becoming Miss Utah and even Miss America.
Roy officials decided this year, as a way to cut spending, not to include a Miss Roy pageant as part of its annual Roy Days celebration.
North Ogden will hold its Miss Cherry Days pageant if enough hometown girls enter, but it's shutting out Pleasant View girls because their city won't pay a share of the costs.
Melanie Shelton is optimistic that at least eight North Ogden women between the ages of 17 and 24 will want to participate in the June 5 pageant.
"I really hope they do, because if it gets canceled, I worry it may never come back," said Shelton, the North Ogden pageant director.
She'll get a good idea this week, because the first orientation meeting is at 7 p.m. Thursday in the city offices, 505 E. 2600 North.
Contestants who pay the $70 entrance fee will receive paperwork to enter, select a platform and decide on a talent presentation.
In the past, North Ogden has paid pageant expenses using taxpayer funds even when girls from other cities have won, but this year things changed.
The two cities discussed combining their annual celebrations this year to trim costs.
When Pleasant View decided to keep its Founder's Day celebrations, North Ogden still wanted financial help with the pageant, for which it budgets about $9,000 each year, including scholarships.
Shelton said she asked the Pleasant View City Council for $2,500 to help cover costs, but "they turned me down flat."
"I know some are saying that North Ogden is being mean, but I asked Pleasant View directly for the money and they just said no," she said.
Harrisville residents still may participate because that city has agreed to pay a percentage of the costs based on the number of Harrisville women who enter.
Roy requires at least four entries to hold its pageant, but last year, the city had barely enough young women join. The city pays $500 to the Miss America pageant organization and spends $125 on the crown, in addition to scholarship money.
Amy Tafoya, who volunteered as Roy's pageant coordinator last year, suggested still awarding the scholarship money through an application and essay contest at the high school and possibly having a Miss and Mr. Roy from the high school. The two would represent the city at community events and in the parade.
Tafoya said she would be happy to help with that process and that she would still help with the pageant if the city felt it was necessary.
"Teenage girls just don't have the interest anymore," said Roy City Councilman Dave Tafoya, who is married to Amy Tafoya. "In my opinion, it's not a community event."
He would like to see the $3,500 in scholarship money be put toward an essay contest of some sort that may draw more interest.
He also said interested Roy girls could still participate in the Weber County pageant and the city could put that information on the city's Web site so it is easily accessible.
Roy City Councilman Mike Stokes suggested the city not hold the pageant this year and see what kind of feedback the city gets.
"Might not be missed," he said.
The council discussed other aspects of Roy Days that could be skipped.
Dave Tafoya said most other events are nearly free to the city because of sponsorships or they are just free events. The city will contract with a different carnival company this year at no cost to the city.
The biggest cost is the fireworks, but council members agreed that is something the city does not want to sacrifice.