Jonesboro woman spearheads effort to display Miss Arkansas gowns

Jonesboro woman spearheads effort to display Miss Arkansas gowns
Maegan Waldrip pulling out Miss America 1964 Donna Axum's crowning dress. (Source: Old State House Museum)
Maegan Waldrip pulling out Miss America 1964 Donna Axum's crowning dress. (Source: Old State House Museum)
Miss America 1964 Donna Axum's gown alongside that of Miss America 2016 Savvy Shield's crowning gown. (Source: Old State House Museum)
Miss America 1964 Donna Axum's gown alongside that of Miss America 2016 Savvy Shield's crowning gown. (Source: Old State House Museum)
Miss Arkansas crowning gowns will be on display at the Old State House through June 17. (Source: Old State House Museum)
Miss Arkansas crowning gowns will be on display at the Old State House through June 17. (Source: Old State House Museum)

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - The Miss Arkansas Pageant celebrates 80 years with a move to Little Rock from its traditional Hot Springs venue.

To mark the anniversary, the Old State House Museum has partnered with the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant to host a collection of dresses worn by past Miss Arkansas winners.

"A lot of history is shown in this display and we are thrilled to share it with fellow Arkansans," Maegan Inzer Waldrip, a top finalist in Miss Arkansas 2012 as Miss Greater Jacksonville said.

Waldrip, now a local pageant director living in Jonesboro, has spent hours and hours getting information on each of the former Miss Arkansas' crowning gowns and coordinating their display.

All three of Arkansas’ very own Miss America gowns are also on display: Miss America 1964 Donna Axum, Miss America 1982 Elizabeth Ward, and Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields.

The gowns on display range from the early '60s to the reigning Miss Arkansas 2016 Savannah Skidmore. More than 20 gowns are on display through June 17.

The 25th Anniversary Miss Arkansas gown (Shannon Boy Skokos, Miss Arkansas 1992) and the 50th Anniversary Miss Arkansas gown (Sharon Evans Bale, Miss Arkansas 1967) are also on display.

Waldrip has carefully unpacked history, alongside other volunteers, at the Old State House Museum. The gowns will be on display until Saturday, June 17 and admission is free.

The Old State House is open Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m. and Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Miss Arkansas prelims begin June 13 at Robinson Performance Hall and will culminate with the crowning of Miss Arkansas 2017 on June 17.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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