COLUMBUS — Although the Miss Columbus Pageant will not be held until the fall, Tuesday is the last day for applicants to register for the pageant.

The Miss Columbus Pageant is “really not a beauty pageant, it’s more of a scholarship,” said Jean Pritchett, director of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

The winner of the pageant will receive a $1,000 scholarship, while the runner up will get $500, “but every participant gets a really nice gift basket,” Pritchett said. To put on the pageant, however, the Chamber needs seven participants. As of Monday only six had registered.

Applications for the pageant will be reviewed by the Miss Columbus Committee, which will also meet with applicants to go over what is expected of them. Pageant participants will take part in various other activities leading up to the Oct. 5 pageant, including a session on etiquette and a session on resumes. They are also required to perform community service.

“This is basically a way to get them started on community service so they have something to help when they start applying for scholarships,” Pritchett said.

Girls who have already registered for the pageant have been doing community service activities such as helping with the recent Columbus Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament and the Columbus Easter Egg Hunt. Additional pageant participants who register would likely work on community service projects such as helping with preparations for July 4 festivities, Pritchett said.

Whoever is selected as Miss Columbus 2019 will participate in various activities in the following year, “just as sort of an ambassador to the community,” Pritchett said.

At the Oct. 5 pageant, participants will go through a process that includes an interview with out-of-town judges.

“They have a luncheon with the judges so they can see how they act, their manners and such,” Pritchett said.

Participants will be judged on how they carry themselves throughout the pageant, their community service, and a small percentage based on their grades. There will also be a question drawing portion of the pageant, where Miss Columbus candidates will draw a question at random and be judged on their response.

“If a visitor stops you on the street and asks you about overnight accommodations in Columbus, what would you advise them and why?” could be an example of the kind of question pageant participants might be asked, Pritchett said.

Those interested in participating in the Miss Columbus Pageant can apply at the Chamber office at 320 E. Maple St, or at the Cherokee County Farm Bureau office at 200 E. Pine St, Columbus.