By Dan Newman
The Miss High Octane Pinup Contest, part of the Wausau Events Summer Kickoff Weekend, will feature women dressed in pinup-style costumes from the 40s and 50s during the Father’s Day Classic Car Show on Sunday, June 16.
The event takes place on The 400 Block and is a family-friendly affair, with women tastefully dressed in a variety of styles.
“Pinup celebrates women in their many different forms and personalities,” said contest organizer Beth Juris, also known as ‘Dot Holiday’ for contest purposes. “From rockabilly to 50’s housewife, it celebrates all women, not just one category, age group or dress size.”
Contestants will have plenty of period-appropriate cars to strike a pose with for photo opportunities. The car show runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature 80 classic and custom cars. Contestants will take the stage at for posing, questions and judging at 1 p.m.
Local rockabilly band Carmen Lee and the Tomorrow River Two take the stage at 10:30 a.m., fronted by PinUp girl Carmen Lee. Juris said Lee introduced her to the pinup scene. Six years ago, Lee invited Juris when playing a pinup show. Juris wasn’t sure what to expect, but got dressed up and went anyway.
What she found was a fun scene full of comraderie and positivity between the women, and she was hooked.
“It’s a community of women who want to support each other,” Juris said.
This will be the fourth year for Juris running the High Octane Pinip contest.
Juris said the word ‘Pinup’ evokes ideas of scantily clad women whose photos were sent to soldiers. That’s certainly a part of it, Juris said, but another part is “breaking out of your comfort zone and knowing you’re strong enough to do certain things.”
The women tend to keep their pinup identity separate so they seem different when they’re all dressed up for a show.
“It’s more of a persona you take on on stage, it just makes you a little brave,” Juris said. “It’s not an act, it’s a different part of your subconscious.”
Most girls buy their dresses new, but some get them from scouring estate sales. Still others make their own clothing from vintage patterns. Makeup, jewelry and accessories also need to be period-appropriate.
The top three contestants receive sashes and prize baskets, but not a crown.
“Crowns and tiaras are pretty and they sparkle for a day, but money talks,” Juris said. “I would rather take that money and get it back to the contestants in other ways.”
Each contestant gets a goodie bag with gifts from local businesses, and the top three get a larger basket. This could include photo shoot certificates, makeup sets, jewelry from local artists, and this year, a cupcake from Sweet Lola’s.
Juris said she’s always seeking out new local donors.
“I want to support the local community,” Juris said. :I want to bring people to Wausau and make them want to come back.”
Interested contestants can sign up by messaging the official Facebook page linked below.
For more information.
Top photo: 2018 contest winners (from left) Miss Chevious Lilly Lue, Leggs McGee and Ginny Rosewater.