The 17 contestants in the Greater Alliance Carnation Festival Queen Pageant have spent the past few months preparing for the 59th pageant, which will take place the evening of Aug. 5.

The number of contestants is one of highest in the past nine years. The maximum number of participants is 24.

The crowning of the Carnation Festival queen is a long-standing tradition that has evolved over many years.

Each of the young women running for queen has participated in many community events, including volunteering, orientation and meeting various community members to ready themselves for the responsibility of being queen and what it takes to represent Alliance.

As with years past, the queen will be chosen based on which contestant has accumulated the most points by the end of the night. Points are earned from a written essay turned in as part of the application, an interview each contestant takes part in, and, of course, from the night of the pageant. Each contestant has an equal opportunity to be named queen, which is coupled with the title of ambassador for the next year.

"It is not a beauty contest, beauty comes from within, how you speak to others of all ages. We are looking for young ladies to represent our city," said Sue Grove, chairwoman of the pageant for the past nine years.

Grove stressed that the pageant is not about outer beauty, but about what you have on the inside, what you can do for others and how you can talk to and impact others.

At the end of the pageant, a queen will be crowned, as well as a first attendant, second attendant, third attendant and Miss Congeniality. Each of the five ladies crowned will receive a cash award, ranging between $50 to $1,500.

The pageant will start with each contestant walking on stage to introduce themselves. Then, they will exit to get ready for the casual wear round, followed by the formal wear portion. After intermission, the top 10 contestants will be asked the same question and scored. The pageant will then conclude with the crowning of the new queen and her taking her first walk with the title.

The pageant will have the "Dance Party" theme as it did the year prior, featuring a dance routine from each of the contestants.

The pageant will also include the presentation of the Cindy M. Sacco (Shelter) Wellness Warrior Scholarship Award. This is a $500 scholarship that past queens have the opportunity to apply for at the beginning of the summer by writing an essay.

This year’s masters of ceremonies will be Jimmy Korleski from Jimmy and the Soul Blazers and Megan McCrea, a host on the morning show on WDJQ Q92 radio.

Tickets for the pageant can be purchased from the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce, any of the contestants or at the door the night of the pageant.

The pageant will take place at 7 p.m. Aug. 5 in the Alliance High School Auditorium.