Little Miss Arkansas Pageant

The Little Miss Arkansas Pageant was one of the first children’s beauty and talent pageants for young girls in the state.

The Little Miss Arkansas Pageant was founded in 1979 by Barbara Johnson of Hot Springs (Garland County). She had followed the Miss Arkansas Pageant for many years and consulted with Bob Wheeler, then the director of the Miss Arkansas Pageant, who encouraged her to establish something similar for young girls. The pageant was first held at the Ramada Inn in downtown Hot Springs but moved to the Hot Springs Convention Center in 2001. The pageant started with four age groups: Tiny, Petite, Pre-Teen, and Teen, adding the Baby division in 1982.

The pageant is open to any Arkansas girl ages 0–17. Each contestant competes in pageant dress and in casual wear, which are each considered fifty percent of the total score for beauty. The talent competition is assessed by a different set of judges and is not combined with the beauty portion. The talent portion of the contest is open to all Arkansas girls ages 3–17.

The Little Miss Arkansas Pageant emphasizes family values, natural beauty, poise, and personality. Little Miss Arkansas title-holders regularly make personal appearances around the state and are involved in school, church, and community activities, as well as charity events. One favorite cause of the pageant is supporting military veterans; pageant winners visit Veterans Administration hospitals and entertain at veterans’ events.

Winners receive silver trays, crowns, scepters, banners, roses, rhinestone pins, and t-shirts. Several girls have gone on to the Miss Arkansas Pageant, and one Little Miss Arkansas, Melissa Staples, won the Miss Arkansas USA Pageant.

For additional information:
Little Miss Arkansas Pageant. (accessed September 13, 2021).

Barbara Johnson
Little Miss Arkansas Pageant


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