• Hempstead Watermelon Festival Queen’s Court Rules

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    1. Eligibility:
      1. Contestant must be an unmarried female without children.
      2. Contestant must be a Hempstead resident.
      3. Contestant can’t be pregnant or become pregnant for the current year's contest.
      4. For the upcoming school year:
        • Queen candidate must be entering grades 9th - 12th.
        • Princess candidate must be entering grades 6th - 8th.
        • Duchess candidate must be entering grades 3rd - 5th.
        • Little Miss candidate must be entering Kindergarten - 2nd.
      5. Contestant must prove that she has a “C” or better average for the preceding school semester.
      6. Past Queens are not eligible to participate.  Past Princess, Duchess and Little Miss are allowed to participate when they reach the next age level.
      7. Contestant must provide a current photo.
    2. Contestant Responsibility:
      1. Contestant must sell tickets (details in section IV of these rules) and get a minimum of $150 sponsorship.
      2. Contestant must attend and work at the Watermelon Festival the Thursday of the Festival.
      3. Contestant must ride in the Watermelon Festival Parade, attend the Queen’s Luncheon and rehearsal, and be at the opening ceremonies.
      4. Contestant must wear a sun dress.  No formals or evening gowns will be allowed; formals are reserved for the current Queen's court.  The contestant's dress must be approved on the day of the Luncheon.  Any contestant that does not comply with this rule will not be judged.
      5. Contestant must have an adult escort (dad, uncle, older brother, grandpa) for the coronation ceremony.  The escort must wear a collared shirt and cleaned, pressed jeans or pants.  Please no plaid or stripes (it tends to draw attention from the contestants).  The name of the escort is to be submitted with the initial application.
    3. Court’s Responsibilities:
      1. Winners must be available for the next year’s festival to present sashes and crowns to the Queen and her court.  Each winner is expected to wear her crown, sash, and chamber’s t-shirt at all times during the festival.
      2. The new court is required to attend and assist at the Watermelon auction, awards ceremony, and BBQ Cook Off awards presentation.  They must be in full view of the public throughout the entire day.  The Queen will attend the dance on Saturday night to draw the raffle prize winners during the dance intermission.
      3. The Queen and her court will reign from the day they are crowned till the crowning of their predecessors the following year.
      4. Contestant must enter the Watermelon Festival Parade with a decorated float, truck, car, tractor, or other decorated vehicle of her choice.  All winners will ride on the Queen’s float at the next Watermelon Festival, and will be required to represent the Hempstead Chamber of Commerce in numerous parades throughout the year.
      5. The new court must remain unmarried, without children, and a full time student during their reign.  Failure to fulfill all eligibility requirements will result in the relinquishment of the title, and the scholarship will go to the first runner-up in their category.
      6. The Queen and her court must purchase a formal floor length dress immediately following her July crowning.  The Queens Court chairperson will be provided money from the chamber to purchase all formals.  All dresses must be approved by the chairperson before purchase.
      7. The Queen and her court must be available and agree to represent the Watermelon Festival and the Hempstead Chamber of Commerce in various functions during their reign.  If the Queen fails to cooperate with the committee in any of the functions, she will be penalized $500.00 of her scholarship.  In the event the Queen is unavailable to fulfill two or more scheduled events, the first runner-up will step in and carry out her duties.  If anyone from the court misses more than two scheduled appearances they will be asked to step down and the first runner-up will step in and resume her duties.
      8. The Queen and her court must carry out their community service project.  This project must be approved by the committee.
      9. The Queen and her court must dress appropriately during any public event that the court attends.  Appropriate attire would include knee length shorts, dress, or dress pants / jeans.
    4. Ticket Sales:
      1. Contestant will be issued 300 tickets upon receipt of her completed application.  The contestant may pick up additional tickets from the Hempstead Chamber of Commerce Building, Monday - Friday from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  No tickets will be given after these hours or on weekends.
      2. All proceeds from tickets sales and ticket stubs must be turned in to the Hempstead Chamber of Commerce Building between the above mentioned hours.  No additional tickets will be given out until all tickets in the contestant's possession have been sold and turned in.
      3. Contestant will be responsible for turning in the total amount due from the sales of tickets or the amount collected from a portion of tickets sold along with the remaining tickets.  Remaining tickets that were not sold are to be turned in to the Hempstead Chamber of Commerce Building.  The deadline for selling tickets and turning in remaining tickets is the Wednesday immediately prior to the Watermelon Festival.  In the event that the tickets are lost or stolen, it is the responsibility of the parent to pay for them.
      4. Once a contestant has turned in her initial 300 tickets, she will be considered eligible to run for the court.
    5. Court Selection Process:
      1. Contestant will be judged for appearance, poise and personality before a panel of judges.  Please remember this is not a beauty pageant.  The judges will consider your overall application as well as your personal interview.  Ticket sales, sponsorships and judging scores will determine the winners.
      2. Being he highest ticket seller does not guarantee you a winning position on the queen’s court.
      3. Keep in mind that we are in a social media age.  Your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, et cetera, will be looked at; we are looking for young ladies to represent Hempstead in a respectful manner.
    6. Awards:
      1. Top Ticket Seller will receive a prize to be determined by the Chamber of Commerce.
      2. The Queen will be presented a $1,500.00 scholarship certificate given by the Hempstead Chamber of Commerce President (up to $750.00 per semester) at the following year's Watermelon Festival.
      3. Prizes for Princess, Duchess and Little Miss will be determined by amount of sponsorship money and ticket sales from each contestant.  Prizes may consist of IPOD touch, IPOD gift cards, etc.
      4. All winners will receive a crown, sash, flowers, and gifts.
    7. Raffle Prizes:
      1. 1st Place - $1,500.00 cash
      2. 2nd Place - $750.00 cash
      3. 3rd Place - $250.00 cash
      4. The drawing will take place on Saturday night at the festival dance intermission, where the Queen will draw the winners.
    8. Important Dates:
      1. Watermelon Festival Meeting + Queen’s Court Meeting - to be announced on the Hempstead Chamber of Commerce web site / event calendar
      2. June 30th - Applications are due at the Chamber of Commerce Building or submitted online by 2:00 p.m.  If this date falls on a weekend, applications are due by 2:00 p.m. the Friday prior.
      3. Friday, one week prior to the Watermelon Festival - Rehearsal at the Gazebo at 6:00 p.m.
    If you have any questions, please contact Samantha Glover at srggluva@gmail.com or the Hempstead Chamber of Commerce at info@hempsteadtxchamber.com.  Parents of the court will be given chairperson’s phone number; no contestants will be allowed to contact the chairperson at any time.  Chairperson will speak with or contact the parents in regards to any Watermelon Festival Queen’s Court concerns.
    (Updated 9 May, 2018)
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