May 18, 2009

Pulchritude of the past

Oh, I wish I'd known about this. Galveston Island’s "legendary Bathing Beauties Pageant" was resurrected on Saturday (5/16/09). History from Galveston Beach Revue (quote in green):

Dubbed the "Pageant of Pulchritude" by C.E. Barfield, the Galveston beauty contest began in the summer of 1920 and from then on marked the kick-off for tourist season each year. By 1928, the event (which had morphed into the "bathing girl revue") had become so popular, the Island's population was said to have tripled during the event weekend. These Island pageants are said to have been the beginning of what we know today as the Miss America Contest.

Being a BOI (refers to those "Born on Island"), as they say, and having grown up on the Island, I am fascinated with its history. I love hearing especially about the era when it was a prototype for the kind of a town places like Las Vegas, Nevada, would eventually become. The Galveston I knew was so different from that, but you could still get a sense (more like a vibe) of what it had been like.

Had I known about this event's rebirth, I might have been able to get some excellent pictures, such as this one from The Galveston Daily News photographer Kevin Cox:

Dana Blue of Houston twirls her umbrella for the judges during the vintage-inspired swimwear competition of the Galveston Island Beach Revue on the beach at 33rd Street on Saturday afternoon. She won second place. (The Galveston Daily News)


Adrienne Culpepper said...

Hi there!
We tried our best to advertise the event - we were featured on Great Day Houston, Fox26 morning News, ran ads in the Houston Press, Islander Magazine, and in the Galveston Daily News. Please keep an eye on our website for the announcement of next year's event so you don't miss it!! :)
Adrienne Culpepper

Chris said...

Yes, you all definitely spread the word! I check The Galveston Daily News website everyday, so I should have seen it. Now that it's "up and running" again, I'll definitely know to look out for it next year. It looks like it was a lot of fun!

adrienne said...

It's back! Friday, May 14th - Saturday, May 15th on the Island - the 2010 Galveston Island Beach Revue featuring the main event - the Bathing Beauties Contest!