The 61st Annual Dogwood Trail Pageant this weekend


The 61st Annual Dogwood Trail Pageant and Scholarship Program, sponsored by the Eastern Shore Optimist Club, will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Fairhope Civic Center in accordance with the CDC and State of Alabama Covid-19 guidelines. Twenty-seven participants are vying for one of six slots on The Dogwood Trail Court for the 2021-2022 year.

The year's theme, “Let Your Optimism Shine,” is spotlighted in the program’s creative introduction segment.  Get ready to be entertained by the participants as they show their shining optimism. 

The Dogwood Trail Pageant and Scholarship Committee are excited to celebrate 61 years of service to our community. Over the years, the program has provided welcoming ambassadors to our community and given hundreds of young women the opportunity to enhance their leadership and public speaking skills and reinforce the importance of public service.

“We believe it is important for young women of today to embrace their potential,” Executive Program Director JoAnn Broadus said. “This program enables participants to grow and to realize the strength and skills they all have within them. We celebrate 61 years of service and opportunities to elevate these young leaders in our community.”

Pageant participants must be high school female sophomores or juniors living on the Eastern Shore with a 2.75 or higher-grade point average. Participants in the 61st Annual Dogwood Pageant are pictured with their names and creative introduction topics.

Participants will be awarded scores for their performance in four categories – Essay, Interview, Creative Introduction, and Presence and Composure. The twelve participants with the highest composite score will be asked an impromptu question. The six young women with the highest overall scores will serve on the 2021 Court. Each will receive a $1,250 college scholarship from the Optimist Club, as well as a costume designed to depict the floral heritage of our community to be worn during official appearances.  Additionally, Coastal Alabama Community College will provide a Presidential Scholarship to a graduating senior who has previously placed as a finalist in the Pageant.  The Presidential Scholarship is for one year (renewable) for full tuition and fees only and is valued at approximately $4,500 per year.

Sponsors of the scholarships include Eastern Shore Optimist Club, The Citizen’s Bank, Daphne Pediatric Dentistry, Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival Foundation and Bay Business News.

The Court’s first official appearance will be at the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival on Saturday, March 20, 2021. Court members serve one-year terms as goodwill ambassadors for the Eastern Shore. They complete approximately 150 hours of community service, appearing at city, county, state and national events, parades, festivals, and trips that promote the Eastern Shore.

This year due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, there will be no general admission tickets. The Pageant and Scholarship Program will be live-streamed by the Fairhope High School Booster Club. The link will be posted on the official Dogwood Trail Facebook page before 7 p.m. on Saturday.