River Days is an annual celebration in the city of Portsmouth - perhaps best known for its parade, entertainment and the Miss River Days pageant. The festival begins Thursday and will be capped off with a fireworks display on Sunday, Sept. 2.
This year's 45th-annual pageant features the theme, “River Days Buckeye Style.”
“When we traveled to other festivals, they typically have a queens' window, so we decided last year that that would be a way maybe to increase some foot traffic downtown and get people where they could see the kids,” said River Days Queen Chairwoman and pageant director, Lori Lowe.
The windows all were decorated by Robin Seaman and her family, of McDermott.
Seaman said the Mike Bennett Store has the past 44 queens featured in its window with an Ohio State tailgate party theme, while Acadia has all the contestants of Little Miss and Junior Miss and Tiny Miss River Days pageants. Also, Estep's features the current queen's court and The Ritz features current Miss River Days contestants.
“I'm not real pageantry, but I like to do things that are kind of creative. I think they turned out really nice, and I've had a lot of compliments on them,” she said.
Lowe agreed, expressing her satisfaction with the displays.
“I think they look awesome,” she exclaimed. “I think it's an opportunity for people to see the contestants. We really have enjoyed collecting the memorabilia of the past 44 queens. It's just one more way that we can add to downtown and draw some excitement to the festival.”
The Tiny, Little and Junior Miss River Days pageants will take place Sept. 1 at 4 p.m., followed by the Miss River Days Queen pageant at 7 p.m. Both pageants will take place at Vern Riffe Center for the Arts at Shawnee State University. Tickets may be purchased before the event and at the door.
Seaman said the exhibits typically are put up two to three weeks before River Days and will stay up for one week after the festival.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, and by e-mail at email@example.com.