BY JEFF SWANSON
Daily Press writer
"There she goes ... Mrs. Colorado..."
Those are the words one lucky Craig woman could be hearing if she is selected as Mrs. Colorado on May 18 at the Denver Auditorium Theatre.
The easiest part of the contest is that by just entering, it may be enough to qualify as Mrs. Craig.
"I don't think I've ever had a Mrs. Craig," said Tricia Dampier, executive director for the Mrs. Colorado America 2002 Pageant. "It would be great if we could get someone who would come down and represent that part of the state."
This is the 26th annual event, and Dampier believes that it may also be one of the best. The Master of Ceremonies for this year's event will be WB2 Anchorman Ernie Bjorkman.
"In the last few years, we have been averaging between 1,500 and 2,000 people who come out to see the show," she said. "We are expecting just that many this year, and people really seem to have a good time. We are also going to incorporate a very patriotic theme this year, with a specially choreographed dancing performance with professionals.
"I can guarantee that anyone who comes to Denver to attend will have a wonderful time," she said.
Dampier herself was Mrs. Colorado in 1989, and her story is similar to that of many other participants.
"I saw an ad in the newspaper and decided that I wanted to be a part of something like that," she said "I was lucky enough to win, and I have been involved ever since."
Although many women may not believe that a beauty contest is not for them, Dampier says that married women from all walks of life enter the Mrs. Colorado Pageant.
"Last year, the youngest entrant was 19-years-old, and the oldest was 76," Dampier said. "It shows how wide of contestant range that we get. That is something we are really proud of."
The pageant does not have a talent competition, and women are judged on three different qualifications:
Interview (50 percent)
Evening gown (25 percent)
Swimsuit competition (25 percent)
Constestants must be 18-years old, a U.S. citizen, a resident of Colorado and married for at least 6 months.
The winner will receive a prize package worth more than $5,000, which includes a $1,500 scholarship, an all-expense paid trip to the Mrs. America Contest in Honolulu, Hawaii, a life casting, art work, clothing, make-up and jewelry.
"I really encourage anyone who would like to attend to do so," Dampier said. "It can be an experience that many women never thought would happen to them, and something they'll remember for the rest of their lives."
Anyone interested in competing in the Mrs. Colorado America 2002 Pageant can contact Executive State Director Tricia Dampier at (303) 904-3709.