The first Winona Peach Pageant was held in 1967 and run by Cam Hooton and John Van Essen. The first Queen crowned was Johanna Van Essen with Georgina Smith and Lindsay Poole as her ladies in waiting. The pageant contestants were between 16 and 21 and from the Winona – Grimsby area. There were 18 contestants in 1967. The contestants wore colourful costumes dating back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Contestants were judged on personality, talent, poise, ambition and dress. The Queen received a $100 bank account with the account number 1867-1967. The cost for entering the pageant was $10.00.

The next pageant took place in 1974 and was run by Jean Swackhammer. This was the beginning of the present day pageant. The contestants had to reside in the City, (Town) of Stoney Creek, be sponsored by a Winona Peach Festival member organization and be between 16 and 19. Over the years, the Queen and Princesses received $100 to purchase their outfit. Their ability to spend wisely was one of the areas judged. Contestants now receive $125 to purchase their pageant outfit. Contestants are judged on their poise, personality, dress and their public speaking ability.

Pageant Chairs over the last 40 years have included: Cam Hooton, John Van Essen, Jean Swackhammer, Anna Orr, Georgina Beattie, Miriam DeWildt; Diane McFarlane, Marg Murphy, Sandra Yemm, Patti Gunell, Yvonne Lemmen, Dorothy Charlton, Brenda DellaMaestra, Susanne Roubos, Liz Laing, Debbie Marrone, Leanne & Andrea Baird, and most recently Melissa & Pam Shuker.

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