You've likely heard of the Miss America and Miss USA beauty queen titles; perhaps you are even familiar with Mrs. America and Ms. Senior America. But what about the Slug Queen? Or the Coal Queen? These lesser-known titles may not be on your radar, but they are indeed beauty queen titles. People, it seems, love a good pageant, and there are some pretty unique designations out there.
Various forms of beauty pageants date back to classical times and have taken on different iterations throughout history. But one thing is certain: Americans cherish their pageants, and there are few honors, however dubious, on which we won't slap a crown and sash. Simply put: we've got an interesting array of pageant titles around the country.
Let's take a closer look at weird beauty pageant titles in America.
With Miss Drumsticks, it's all about those gams. This Yellville, AR, pageant takes place in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Contestants wear one-piece swimsuits and hold cardboard turkey cutouts over the upper halves of their bodies. They are then judged solely on their legs.
The winner is the next Miss Drumsticks. Past winners have traveled to New York City and Los Angeles to promote the title.
Eugene, OR, is home to the Slug Queen, an honor bestowed annually since 1983. This isn't a typical beauty pageant. Instead, the festival website states it's "a symbol of respect for nature, independence, free thought, and elevating the voices of those most vulnerable in our community."
Contestants must have an imaginative slug costume, a unique talent, and the ability to answer a question specific to the local community creatively.
Contestants enjoy the title of Slug Queen for life.
American Honey Queen isn't just a title; it's a bonafide job. The winner is named spokesperson for the American Beekeeping Federation. This person raises awareness about the industry and educates the public about beekeeping.
Houston's The Rod Ryan radio show hosts an annual Pre-Labor Day Pregnant Bikini Contest. The mothers-to-be must sport a bikini and be within three months of their anticipated due date. Competitors must be 21 or older. Prizes vary each year; past awards have included CoolSculpting, laser hair removal, and tanning sessions.
The Great Texas Mosquito Festival celebrates the thinnest legs through the title of Miss or Mr. Mosquito Legs. Anyone in attendance at the festival in Clute, TX, can sign up to compete.
The Miss Tall International Pageant pays homage to contestants of towering stature. Contestants compete at the local level first before attending the nationwide Tall Club International convention to vie for the ultimate title. Miss Tall serves as an ambassador for "tall awareness."
The Miss Klingon Empire pageant takes place at the Treklanta convention in Atlanta, GA. As you've probably guessed, it's a tribute to Star Trek. Contestants dress up as female Klingons and are judged on beauty, talent, and personality. The winner gets a crown, trophy, and Klingon sash.
The Coal Queen is crowned as part of the Pennsylvania Bituminous Coal Show and honors the state's coal-mining industry. Their respective high schools select contestants. The winner receives $4,000 in prizes and a tour of an underground coal mine.
The Hell Hole Swamp Festival is held every spring in Jamestown, SC. One of the highlights is the crowning of Miss Hell Hole Swamp. Area contestants are eligible to participate, and the winner gets to ride in the Hell Hole Swamp Festival Parade.
Every year, Circleville, OH, crowns the new Miss Pumpkin Show. Winners receive a crown, sash, silver tray, and a prime spot in the Pumpkin Show Parade.
The title of Melon Days Queen is awarded annually in Green River, UT, at the Melon Days Festival. Contestants, ages 15 to 24, must live, work, or go to school in Green River, and be of "good moral character."
The Mississippi Watermelon Festival in Mize, MS, awards the title of Watermelon Queen during each year's festivities. Area women ages 17 to 19 years old are eligible to compete. The winner receives a $1,000 college scholarship.
The National Outdoors Show in Church Creek, MD, crowns Miss Outdoors at its annual celebration. Contestants - young women ages 16 to 24 - take part in various fashion competitions, and submit an essay on "living/growing up in Dorchester County." The winner receives a $2,500 college scholarship.
The Meat Pie Festival in Natchitoches, LA, honors a winning contestant with the title of Miss Meat Pie Queen. The pageant invites young ladies up to age 23 to participate.
The National Peanut Festival is held annually in Dothan, AL, where a Miss National Peanut Festival is crowned. To qualify, contestants must win preliminary pageants held in the peanut-producing regions of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Prizes include a cash scholarship and, of course, a crown.
Mendota, IL, bestows one local high school student or recent graduate with the title of Miss Sweet Corn Queen every summer. The winner receives a college scholarship.