NORTH OGDEN -- Recruitment already has started for the June 1 Miss Cherry Days pageant as organizers hope to avoid the fiasco that occurred with the pageant last year.
Interested young women between the ages of 17 and 24 living in the city need to sign up and pay the registration fee by Feb. 15.
For the first time in decades, no Miss Cherry Days was crowned in 2010 after the city council canceled the pageant because there were not enough North Ogden contestants.
This year, the city wants to give plenty of time to get contestants interested, plus show the council there is enough interest to have a pageant, said Annette Spendlove, who helps coordinate the pageant.
The biggest issue is the requirement to have eight young women who are residents of North Ogden to participate in the pageant.
That was the stipulation last year, and not enough North Ogden resident girls stepped up.
Young women who attend Weber High School or work in the city can still compete, but they don't count toward the eight residents necessary to compete.
Each North Ogden resident contestant is required to pay $100 at the time of registration; nonresidents will pay $150.
The fees are higher this year, but pageant director Melanie Shelton feels it is still fair and comparable with other cities. The fee is nonrefundable.
Shelton is worried about the eight-resident requirement and the early registration deadline.
"A lot of girls aren't thinking about it right now," Shelton said.
She believes it would be easy to get eight girls total from the area, which includes Harrisville and Pleasant View, and with the nonresidents paying extra, she thinks that should be considered good enough to make the pageant a go.
Shelton said that last year, when the council voted 3-2 to cancel the pageant, she was worried it would be gone forever, but has always held out hope.
She was glad to see the council kept the money in the budget, which Spendlove said was always the plan.
"I do still worry there are some (on the council) that don't want it to happen," Shelton said.
The council budgeted $9,000 for the pageant this year. Of that, $4,000 goes to pay the Miss America pageant, with which the city pageant is affiliated, and for scholarships for the winner and runners-up.
The two attendants each receive $500, and the queen will receive $1,500 for the college of her choice. The remaining $5,000 pays all other pageant expenses, she said.
Shelton really wants to encourage women to consider the pageant because she feels the information learned and confidence gained is invaluable.
"They learn and grow so much. They learn how to walk and carry themselves and really come out of their shell," she said.
She was the Miss Cherry Days queen in 1988 and feels passionate about the contest.
"I think pageants get a bad rap. There is so much more to them than people think," she said.
Those interested can pick up a packet during business hours at the city offices, 505 E. 2600 North.
Interested applicants only need to pay the fee and sign up by Feb. 15. Other things such as photos, detailed applications and choice of platform issues will be done at later dates.
For more information, call Spendlove at 801-782-7211.