Miss Ohio contestants have plenty to do this week

MANSFIELD — North central Ohio will roll out the red carpet Saturday as 23 Miss Ohio contestants arrive to compete for the title of Miss Ohio.

The scholarship program will culminate June 22 with the crowning of a new Miss Ohio at the Renaissance Theatre.

Contestants will arrive at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Richland Mall in Ontario. They will model outfits provided by mall merchants. An autograph session will follow.

Contestants will continue to make public appearances throughout the week, including at the Miss Ohio Parade at 2 p.m. Sunday. The route travels from Park Avenue West to Mansfield’s downtown square to Richland Carrousel Park on North Main Street, where contestants will sign autographs. The parade is sponsored by the Mansfield Community Club.

The parade grand marshall is Tana Carli Dimino. More than 126 entries are expected, according to parade chairman Jeff Angelini. The “Show Us Your Shoes” event is making its comeback. Twenty-three contestants will wear or carry footwear designed to reflect platforms, personalities and pageant cities. The shoe judging will be held at the Carrousel where parade-goers are asked to converge.

On Monday, contestants will be part of Applebee’s Celebrity Waitressing Contest from 5 to 7 p.m., selling paper crowns as a fundraiser for the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program.

On Tuesday, a Miss Ohio Style Show returns at 7 p.m. at the Renaissance Theatre. Before to the style show, beginning at 5:15 p.m., the public can sample food from area vendors. A $20 ticket includes the style show and food. The Miss Ohio contestants and Teen contestants and princesses will model apparel.

On Wednesday, competition kicks off at 7 p.m. with the Miss Ohio’s Outstanding Teen Pageant, where 17 girls ages 13 through 17 will vie for the opportunity to represent Ohio at the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando, Fla. Two nights of preliminary competition are scheduled.

Jay Jesensky, executive director of the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program, said the theme of this year’s show is “Legends.” And, for the first time, the public can vote their favorite contestant into the Miss Ohio finals. The Graham Automall Peoples Choice contests runs through 6 p.m. June 21. To vote, go to: www.missohio.org and click on the VOTE NOW key on the home page to access the contestants’ voting page.

Each vote costs $1, and you can vote as many times as you like. Proceeds from the contest contribute to the scholarship fund.

This year’s featured entertainers will be former Miss Ohio titleholders, past contestants and local entertainers.

Newman Technology Inc. again will donate $10,000 to the new titleholder and Graham Automall will again provide the reigning Miss Ohio a vehicle for her year of service.

“More than $40,000 will be awarded to Miss Ohio contestants and more than $3,000 will be awarded to the teen program and with funds from the Miss America organization that brings the total to more than $45,000 in scholarships to be awarded during Miss Ohio,” Jesensky said.

In addition, there is over $34,000 in available in-kind scholarships that are offered by Bluffton University, Kenyon College, Muskingum University and Malone University who participate in our Miss Ohio Higher Education Partnership.

Twitter: @Lwhitmire