For the first time in the 42-year run of the Miss Fluvanna Pageant, the Three Chopt Ruritan Club in Fluvanna decided this week to cancel the event.

“Only three girls signed up. That’s simply not enough to justify the event,” club President Emily Payne said.

Payne said that the cost of printing event programs and ordering trophies, combined with an expected loss of additional advertising revenue due to a lack of interest were also deciding factors in the cancellation.

“The Board spoke at length about this, but we see no other option than to cancel,” Payne said. “Our threshold to move forward with the pageant is to have at least five girls competing.” 

In recent years the club noticed a decline in participation in the pageant.

“We’ve had years where we had more than 30 girls enter,” Payne said. “Those days are gone. The last few years we had an average of about six girls enter the pageant.”

Payne is not sure what the cancellation will mean for the future of the Miss Fluvanna Pageant.

“We make sure as many people as possible know about it. We promote it heavily on social media and at the high school,” she said. “Most of the contestants are high school girls, so we make sure to spread the word. Perhaps we’re not doing enough. I’m not sure what this means for next year.”

The club President expects possible contestants are simply too busy with other activities and that entering a pageant is simply not a priority.

“One of the requirements is also that Miss Fluvanna enters the Miss Dogwood competition in Charlottesville. That’s also a big time commitment,” Payne said.

The Miss Fluvanna Pageant was originally scheduled to take place at West Central Primary School in Palmyra on Saturday March 9th. The Three Chopt Ruritan Club also hoped to award at least two contestants with a $1,000 college scholarship.

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