This year marks the fourth year for the Miss Illinois Festival at the Decatur Celebration.

The pageant will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6, at the Decatur Civic Center. Admission is $7. Those attending the pageant only can enter through the main doors of the Civic Center without a wristband. The pageant coordinators will have a designated person located at the Decatur Celebration entrance near the pageant. They will be escorted to the front doors of the Civic Center.

Categories are queen, junior miss, preteen and princess. Eight women, ages 17 through 22, will be competing for queen. Junior Miss competition, ages 14 through 16, has five contestants. Young ladies ages 10 through 13 will be competing in the preteen division. Three princess, ages 5 through 9, will be given prizes for various categories, including prettiest smile, prettiest hair and most photogenic.

Queen, junior miss and preteen contestants will be judged on personal interviews, on stage presence and attire.

The pageant will give contestants experience in public speaking and interviewing skills, modeling and how to engage with adults.

As an extra bonus, this year, pageant organizers added a community service requirement for the winners. The queen as well as the preteen and junior miss recipients will be required to participate in one community event a month. Organizers stress the importance of volunteering for the contestants. Opportunities include the Special Olympics Polar Plunge,YMCA Backpack Attack, Santa House Helpers and WSOY Food Drive.

Meet this year's contestants.

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Staff Writer

“Together Decatur” columnist, food and entertainment reporter for the Herald & Review.

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