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Latrobe's Miss 4th of July pageant to reign again

Joe Napsha
| Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A year after Latrobe's traditional Miss 4th of July pageant was canceled due to a lack of contestants, the city will crown a Miss Fourth of July this year.

“The interest came back. Wasn't that amazing? I guess we had to wake everybody up,” said Carol Greenawalt, chairwoman of the Latrobe Fourth of July Celebration Committee.

The pageant is open to girls ages 15 to 19 who have a Latrobe mailing address, regardless of whether they are students at Derry Area or Greater Latrobe high schools, Greenawalt said.

A few days before the April 22 deadline for entries, the committee had at least 15 girls who had registered for the contest, Greenawalt said. About 21 girls had initially registered, then withdrew because of scheduling conflicts, Greenawalt said. Pageant practices are every Monday evening until the contest.

Having a contest this year will give the last winner, Nicole McCleary, a chance to crown the 2013 winner, Greenawalt said. The 2011 graduate of Derry Area High School is the daughter of Traci and Bill McCleary.

McCleary, 20, said she was happy that the pageant has been resurrected.

“It's very nice. A lot of girls are interested in it this year,” McCleary said.

McCleary, a beautician studying to be certified to teach cosmetology, said she plans to be at practices to help the contestants prepare.

The pageant was cancelled last year because no girls had registered by the deadline, Greenawalt said. She blamed the lack of participants on the involvement of the girls in a variety of activities, which had not been the case when the pageant began in 1970.

The committee had hoped for 10 girls to enter the competition in 2012, which would have been an increase from the seven who sought the crown in 2011.

“We had everything ready but the girls,” Greenawalt said at the time.

Events scheduled

The schedule for activities connected with the Latrobe July 4th celebration are being finalized and will be ready soon, Greenawalt said.

The theme of the July 4 parade will be, “A Tribute to Honor our Local Business and Industry.”

Keeping in line with that theme, the honorary grand marshal will be Latrobe Specialty Metals Inc., a Carpenter Technology Corp. company, in honor of the firm's 100th anniversary.

Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig, 51st Adjutant General of Pennsylvania and commander of the Pennsylvania National Guard, will serve as the parade marshal. In his state cabinet-level position, Craig is responsible for the command and control of the National Guard units – Army and Air -allocated to the state.

The committee has contacted all the businesses and organizations that participated in the July 4 parade in the past, Greenawalt said. The deadline for entering the parade is June 29, Greenawalt said.

“We welcome all reasonable entries, but we do have a deadline that we are going to adhere to,” Greenawalt said.

In addition to the parade, the committee is planning a variety of activities.

The children's big wheel and scooter race will be at 6 p.m. June 18 on Memorial Drive.

Runners and walkers can participate in Latrobe's annual 5-mile run and 2-mile walk at 7 p.m. June 28, beginning at Memorial Stadium in Legion Keener Park.

Registration forms are available on the website www.latrobe4thofjuly.com.

The third annual doggie Fourth of July pageant is planned for 6 p.m. June 30 at Legion Keener Park.

The annual baking contest will be at 5 p.m. June 30 for registration, with judging to begin an hour later.

The city will cap the festivities once again with its traditional fireworks at 10 p.m. July 4.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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