No queen to reign in Latrobe this 4th of July
By Joe Napsha
Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 9:01 p.m.
Latrobe's annual Fourth of July celebration will have the traditional fireworks, food, music and amusement rides at Legion Keener Park and its huge parade throughout the city's downtown, but it won't have a Miss Fourth of July Pageant for the first time since 1970.
The city's Fourth of July Celebration Committee canceled the annual beauty pageant five months ago because no girl had registered and only two said they were interested in competing, said Carol Greenawalt, committee chairwoman. The committee had hoped to attract 10 teenage girls from the Derry Area and Greater Latrobe school districts, or those with a Latrobe mailing address.
The news was disappointing to the first and last winners of the Miss Fourth of July pageant.
"As a past participant, I find that it is a shame that this year's pageant has been cancelled due to lack of interest," said Vivian Moore Ligato, a former Latrobe resident who won the first pageant in 1970.
Greenawalt said that it has been difficult in recent years to get girls to enter the contest. Only seven competed last year and five the previous year, Greenawalt said.
"The girls have other interests and they don't want to commit the time. Their interests are different" than years ago, Greenawalt said.
But Nicole McCleary of Derry, the 2011 winner of the contest, said she believed that there would have been a sufficient number of contestants to compete for the crown, if only the pageant committee had given the girls more time.
"You can't say there's not enough girls who want to do it. I had at least 10 girls who were interested," said McCleary, 19, who graduated The 19-year-old 2011 Derry Area graduate is attending a Pittsburgh beauty academy in hopes of becoming a beautician.
Although some of McCleary's friends may have been interested in competing this year, "the girls did not follow her," Greenawalt said.
The committee had to know there was enough interest in the pageant several months before the event "in order to invest the time and money to have the pageant," Greenawalt said.
A lack of interest was not a problem in 1970, when 24 girls competed in the pageant, including Ligato's sister, Bonita, and some of her friends. Ligato was a 19-year-old student at Edinboro University when she came home for a summer job as playground instructor only to find her mother, Marion, had given her another duty - entering in the newly-formed pageant.
"It was a wonderful experience. It was very well-organized," said Ligato, who is an artist now living in West Chester and mother of three adult children,
Despite the disappointment of the pageant ending, McCleary said she enjoyed her year's reign as Latrobe's Miss Fourth of July. She got to ride in the parade and represent the city at the Westmoreland Fair last August, McCleary said.
"It was really, really fun," McCleary said. "I got to meet a lot of people."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.