Thursday, 4:30 PM
State House graced by age and beauty
(Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff)
Contestants from the Miss Senior Sweetheart Pageant of America flashed smiles today at the State House.
By April Simpson, Globe Staff
With polished nails, painted lips, and neatly trimmed hair, the contestants of the international Miss Senior Sweetheart Pageant toured the State House today in a break from rehearsals and performances.
The 19 contestants, between 58 and 82 years old, met with legislators, posed for pictures, and sang their theme song, "Let me call you sweetheart, I'm in love with you," with outstretched arms. They will compete for the international title at B.M.C. Durfee High School in Fall River on Sunday.
"It's a pleasure to be here," reigning queen Virginia Ann Freeman told the other contestants. "But you know that old joke. At my age, 85, it's a pleasure to be anywhere, but I am enjoying every minute of it."
The competition, which began in 1978, includes interviews and a talent show. The contestants must be female and a minimum of 58 years old.
"If you go any less, that's middle age," said pageant promoter Lenny Kaplan.
Today, the contestants marveled at the inside of the State House, looking up when they entered the Senate Chamber.
"Oh, look at the ceiling, it looks like a big woven doily," Britta Shaw, 65.
Shaw says her one-stop light town of Checotah, Okla., claims American Idol winner Carrie Underwood. Maybe, after Sunday's pageant, it will claim her too.
"People said that lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place, but we sure hope it does," said Shaw who, with lighted batons, will perform an "interpretation of an Indian maiden calling her brave into the campfire."
"The talent competition is so tough," Shaw said.