By MIKE CHAIKEN
Four young women will be surrendering their crowns and four new young women will take their place when the Miss Mum pageant returns on Friday, Sept. 13.
Miss Mum Kayla Paulette, Junior Miss Mum Carson Gagne, Petite Miss Mum Leah Aparo, and Mini Miss Mum Gianna Cassin will be wrapping up their duties as the titleholders.
Their successors will be young women from Bristol, Forestville, Plainville, Plymouth, Terryville or Wolcott. They will be selected based on three on-stage appearances. For Miss Mum, the contestants also submit an essay.
All four of the current titleholders gave the past year a big thumb’s up.
“I like all the appearances,” said Paulette of being Miss Mum, “and I like meeting new people and helping out.”
Gagne said she enjoyed talking to people and encouraging them to talk to her during her year as Junior Miss Mum. She also said she enjoyed the confidence she gained walking around in her crown and sash.
Gagne also said, “I like getting to represent Bristol.
“I liked being with everybody (in the Miss Mum family),” said Aparo, “and seeing everything.”
Cassin said she loved being part of the Miss Mum family because she was able to do fun things like attend the recent Rockwell Summer Festival. “I also like meeting people and talking to people. I loved I got to sing.”
“We got to do incredible things that are fun,” said Cassin. “We get to go to pageants and see people win. It’s awesome.”
The Mum Festival this year runs from Sept. 19 to 22 on the field next to Memorial Boulevard School and the boulevard itself. It opens on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. with the opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. on the Main Stage. The parade is held Sunday, Sept. 22 at 1:30 p.m.
Gagne said she likes the Mum Festival because “people are talking and everyone is coming together and having a great time.”
Aparo said, “I like all of it.” This includes the food, rides, and the parade at the festival. She also likes that the festival gives her a chance to see her friends and neighbors.
“I like going to the rides and I like getting ice cream and I like the food,” said Cassin. “It’s just really fun.”
“The food is really good,” said Paulette of the Mum Festival.
“But I also like how everybody comes together to help. Everyone puts on a really great show,” said Paulette.
And when the festival kicks off, what food is Paulette dying to have?
“I like fried dough,” said the current Miss Mum. “So any truck that has fried dough is my kind of truck.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the Miss Mum Pageant on Friday, Sept. 13. The pageant will start at 7 p.m. at Chippens Hill Middle School on Peacedale Drive. This year’s emcee is Amy Vanderoef, a former Miss Mum (1990), Miss Bristol (1993 and 1996), and Miss Connecticut USA (2001), Vanderoef is the Emmy-nominated host on WFAA’s “Good Morning Texas.” The Bristol Eastern High School graduate currently resides in Dallas with her son, Wyatt.
For details about the Mum Festival, go to BristolMumFestival.com. For details about the Miss Mum Pageant, go to MissMumBristol.org.