East Texas kids compete for Miss Forest Festival and Mr. Timberjack

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Kids of all ages came to compete in the Annual Miss Forest Festival and Mr. Timberjack contest.

The pageant dates back over 15 years ago, when pageant director Kathryn Williams' mom began hosting the event.

Williams says being a pageant winner, herself, drives her to bring the same experiences to others.

"It makes me happy to see them happy," said Williams.

Parents place large emphasis on the perfect costume.

"He has a timber jack attire with little suspenders and some boots. And then, he has a Sunday's best, which is a little knicker outfit," said Rainee Gray, mom of a Mr. Timberjack contestant.

Some parents hand-crafted outfits.

"The outfit of choice, my wife made like a Longhorns cheerleader outfit," said Jonathon Monroe, dad of a tiny Miss Forest Festival contestant.

Many first timers came out Saturday to strut their stuff across the stage. Parents say they wanted their children to be involved in something that promotes a positive self image.

"It will help them through life, especially the two older girls. They'll have a self-esteem about themselves, and I just think it's a great thing," said Rosie Soape, great-grandmother of 3 Miss Forest Festival contestants.

Every child goes home a winner. But, only the top 2 winners will parade and show talent during The Annual Forest Festival.

"It not only brings a smile to my face, that everyone receives a trophy, but builds stage confidence, gives them more confidence to get out there and perform in front of a stage," said Williams.

Gray says the pageant provides an avenue to participate in the community.

"It's a good way to get out and just do something," said Gray.

Pageant winners will be announced and showcased at The Annual Forest Festival on September 25th.

Copyright 2011 KTRE. All rights reserved.