First Womanless Pageant is a big hit

CAMBRIDGE – When Buddy Foxwell breaks down laughing, and says from the stage, “I don’t really think I can do this … ”, you know it’s going to be a crazy evening. The occasion was the first “Miss Nature Girl” pageant, put together by the National Outdoor Show Committee as a fundraiser for this year’s Outdoor Show, coming up in Golden Hill in Feb. 23-24. The name, “Miss Nature Girl” might have caused some confusion, since the Outdoor Show already has a pageant to select Miss Outdoors for the upcoming year. There’s also a Little Mister, and Little Miss Outdoors, so what’s the big deal?

Well, the Miss Nature Girl pageant was a womanless pageant.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Imagine what could happen with that sort of a program, considering that the friends of the Outdoor Show are almost exclusively hard-bitten watermen and farmers, muskrat and sika deer hunters, from mostly the southern corners of our county. And then, when you find out that interest in the show was so enthusiastic as to produce nine contestants gleefully ready to dress as women and strut their stuff on the Moose Lodge stage — well, a hilarious evening was guaranteed.

Buddy Foxwell, emcee for the Outdoor Show and well-loved local auctioneer, was tapped as the master of ceremonies for the event, and as soon as he landed on the stage he knew he was over his head. And the contestants went right in for his weak side.

When the first potential Miss Nature Girl was called to the stage, Buddy cringed and tried to crawl under the podium to get away, as “she” rubbed up against him and tried to make nice. “Stop, just stop!” would be often repeated by Mr. Foxwell as the evening went on, to gales of laughter from the audience. Buddy tried to set stage rules, declaring “Do not touch me, don’t even stand near me!” but his cries fell on deaf ears.

The pictures will tell the story faster than these words. But, imagine nine South Dorchester men carefully dressed as ladies, makeup and all, being judged in an evening wear and a swimsuit competition. Some were young, some were old. Some were bearded, some were clean shaven. Some were slim … some were not. But it was all in fun, and honestly this writer is sure that Saturday night saw more laughter than we’ve all had in quite a while.
Buddy set the ground rules early, when he stated “I’ve been told that the theme for this evening is rated “M,” for Mature. Let’s not push it into the “R” category. That being said, it might be best to remove all children from the room!”

The contestants were judged on their choice of gown and beauty, and their swim attire. Awards were given for Most Vivacious; Best Legs and People’s Choice. The contestants chose stage names for themselves, some of which we can’t print, this being a family paper. But it was all in fun, and for a good cause, and everybody there had a ball, believe me.

The first categories the Nature Girl contestants were judged for were Best Legs, and Most Vivacious. Miss Peaches Galore took the Best Legs award, Miss Eileen Dover was judged Most Vivacious. A Peoples Choice award was judged by contributions to the individuals, and Miss Dixie Normous Flowers took the top spot there.

The show went by quickly, with both emcee Foxwell and contestants showing the strain of the competition, while the judges worked hard to tally the scores. (Full disclosure: the writer of this piece served as one of the judges, and is sad to report there were no attempts at bribery during the evening).

In the end, Miss Eileen Dover was crowned Miss Nature Girl 2018, by a slim margin. The first runner up was Miss Loose Seal Balls, and second runner up was Miss Dixie Normous Flowers. The winner was given a fetching crown of deer antlers and a bouquet of flowers, while she strode the runway blowing kisses to the crowd.

You just had to be there. The Outdoor Show Committee says that Miss Nature Girl will be an annual show from now on, and if so, they’ll be needing a bigger room. The crowd on Saturday night filled the Moose Lodge, and once word gets around we’re sure Miss Nature Girl will be the premiere winter event in 2019.

Miss Nature Girl will make an appearance at the Outdoor Show in February, so if you missed the pageant you’ll still be able to see Miss Eileen Dover in all her glory in Golden Hill on Feb. 23 and 24.

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at pclipper@newszap.com.

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