Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Pageant Packing Check List

Miss Ohio contestants arrive in Mansfield Thursday! I've read on Facebook that several contestants, parents and even Miss Ohio, Karissa Martin, are anxiously completing last minute details. Okay, that's putting it lightly. The correct terms are probably "scrambling," "freaking out" and experiencing complete denial with regard to the date on the calendar. I'm sure time has evaporated, even for the returning contestants. Should you even be reading this right now?! Isn't there a last minute alteration to be picked up? Another push-up to do? The continued quest for the perfect earrings for the insignificant production number outfit?

So, here's a check-list of sorts; it's a combination of a list that floated around a message board and my own memories.

The Obvious Competition Attire

Competition Evening Gown
Walk on gown(s)
Talent Outfit/Costume
Onstage Question Outfit (if different than interview)
Opening number outfit
Other production number outfit(s)
Interview outfit
Jewelry for each
Accessories (including hair stuff) for each
Shoes for each
Under garments for each, including... padding!

Other Miss Ohio Week Attire

Sign in/Miss Ohio Festival Outfit (shoes/jewelry)
Parade Outfit (shoes/jewelry/hat)
Shoe me your shoe?/Pursonality?/other required craft project?
Outfit for Teen pageant (shoes/jewelry)
Dress to wear to Coronation Ball (could be outfit listed above)
Extra suit/outfit for luncheon(s)?
Pants/shorts/skirts of the designated color for rehearsal
Casual shoes for rehearsal
Accessories (belts/ jewelry/etc) to jazz up the rehearsal shirts
Socks, undies, appropriate under garments
Sweatshirt/hoodie/jacket/scarf as to not freeze to death in the always cold theatre

Tricks of the Trade

Safety Pins
Sewing Kit
Panty Hose
Breath Mints
Duct Tape/Packing Tape/"Hollywood Tape"/Double-sided Tape
Power Strip/Extension cord
Corn starch (you'd be surprised how sweaty your back gets under the hot lights, especially on talent night.)
Firm Grip/butt glue
Extra Mirrors
Spray on Tan/Bronzer/Extra Towel
Thank you notes/pens/stamps
Sheet (to put on the floor at your station to catch dropped items and keep your feet and gowns clean)
Baby Wipes
Stain Remover
Hand Sanitizer
Pillow/Small Blanket for theatre
Copies of your paperwork
Cut of your talent music
Favorite mug/tea bag/throat spray (for singers)
Favorite [inset whatever dancers need here]
iPod/MP3 player/headphones


Hair care: Straightener/Curling Iron/Hot Rollers/Blow dryer/Hair Spray/Comb/Brush/hair pins/accessories
Razor/Wax/Depilatory Cream
Skin Care: Face Wash/Toner/Moisturizer/Cremes/Mask/etc...
Sunscreen (especially for the parade!)
Make up Removers
Exfoliates/Body Scrubs
Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Wash/Loofah/etc... for host home
Travel size toiletries to leave at theatre
Dental floss/Toothbrush/Tooth Paste
Perfume/Body Spray
Body Lotion/Foot Creme/etc...
Feminine Products/Midol
Lashes/Lash glue
Q-Tips/Cotton Balls
Nail Glue/Fake Nails/Nail Polish/Nail Polish Remover

Random Stuff

Emergency Cash
Workout videos for host home/hand weights/etc...
Tote bag to carry back and forth to the theatre
Cell phone charger/iPod charger/etc...
Shoe inserts/Gel insoles
Pictures of friends and family/journal/bible/etc...
Favorite stuffed animal or pillow for host home
A small gift for your roommate, host and chaperon!

Miss Ohio usually provides

A steamer (the chaperons are AMAZING with steaming the gowns! Love them!)
Food (There's usually a nice assortment of fruit and snacks at the theatre, but bring your own if you're picky.)
Water bottles (In the past refillable bottles have been provided)

Abby's Tips


* Think about what you're willing/will need to carry back and forth and what you should have double. IE: I recommend travel sized skin care, toothbrush, tooth paste, deodorant and blow dryer that stay at the theatre.

* Take your iPod to talent rehearsal; you'll have to stay in the theatre during your whole flight, so think about and listen to YOUR talent instead of paying attention to the other womens'.

* A robe and slippers to wear in between changes are imperative!

* During pageants, I couldn't live without my double sided tape! I used it for everything - on the heel of my foot to keep my shoes from "flipping," on my slingback straps to keep them from falling off my heel, on my clothing to hold things in place...

* Out of respect for your host home, take your own towel designated for use while applying your sunless tanning lotion or spray, as to not stain their towels orange!

* Do not try any new products during Miss Ohio week! Only use self tanners and face products that you already know work for you. IE: a friend recently had a painful honeymoon because she couldn't get her single-lash eye glue off! ;) Make sure you test everything!

* I don't know why, but it seemed like backstage at Miss Ohio someone was always asking for nail polish remover. Also, baby wipes and my mini blow dryer were life savers more than once.

* On Swimsuit day, make sure you're not wearing pants that leave a mark across your stomach.

* Yes, you should plan on winning, but it's also smart to have a coronation ball outfit ready and at the theatre Saturday night. (Make sure your phone is with that outfit; you'll want to make calls while you're being held between the end of the pageant and coronation ball intros, if they do it that way again this year.)

* Mirrors in the dressing room are FEW. There are only three full-length mirrors nailed on the walls. Again, it will depend where your station is, but if there's room for one of those tall, light weight $2 mirrors, I recommend it.

- Some women put everything for an outfit (shoes/jewelry/undergarments) together in a plastic container or zip bag.

- Some women take a Polaroid of herself in each outfit so the chaperon knows what goes together.

- I used to put all my jewelry in a clear plastic tackle box and write on the lid with a sharpy, identifying each piece.

- I don't know what Miss Ohio is allowing this year, but in the past large Rubbermaid "totes" have been used as well as the plastic three drawer units. If you weren't told at forum, ask what's allowed, or someone leave me a comment.

- There are only a few areas in the dressing room where a personal "rolly-rack" will fit; if you're lucky enough to have one of those spots, perhaps your parents could get you a rolly rack after you move into the theatre, otherwise there are places where your things will hang, but they might not be right beside you, so make sure your garment bags are well labeled so your chaperon can easily find them for you.

** CLICK HERE for previously written tips that include how to deal with the stress of Miss Ohio week!**

Miss Ohio is different every year, so leave comments if you know this years requirement and rules. Also, share your tricks and anything I forgot!


  1. Can anyone tell me what Ohio TV station the Miss Ohio final will be shown on? I know I watched it last year, but I have been unable to find out what station it was televised on for the entire state to see.

  2. Wow! This checklist is amazing. I've printed it out and I'm definitely using it. Thanks!

    I believe that we're not allowed to use the rolling drawers or rolling racks anymore. We weren't allowed to use them last year due to the lack of space in the dressing room.

    I really appreciate this list, thank you!

  3. Thank you so much for posting this!!!!

  4. Hi Abby,

    Thanks for this list, It will also help me to prepare for Tuesday just have to eliminate a couple of thing but it is a great guide!! Any last minute advice!!!

    Hope to see you soon,

    Sarah Eash Teen Contestant


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