By JENNIFER PETERS
Even on a rainy Thursday afternoon at the Chautauqua County Fair, there were still 19 kids at the annual Baby Parade.
OBSERVER Photos by Jennifer Peters
The babies and their parents walk around the stage as the judges make a decision about the winners.
For 24-month-old Madison, this was her first year.
"I've heard of friends entering their kids," Brittany LaCarmen, Madison's mother, explained. "I decided to call up the fairgrounds and ask if they were having it again this year."
Children under 2 years old can be entered in the competition. There were categories of most masculine, most feminine, most mischievous, most serious, friendliest and best smile. The contestants walked around the stage three times to give the judges a chance to decide which child fit which category.
The kids not only get to have their moment to shine on stage, but the parents also receive gift bags and the winning children are awarded a $25 check.
"I love seeing all the little kids," Michelle Foote said. "Caydence seems to really enjoy it, and we come every year."
Brelynn Mistretta, 14 months old, attended the parade for the second year. When she went to the Randolph's Arts and Crafts festival, she won queen.
"This little attention-getter has a lot of fun doing it," Mike Mistretta stated. "It gives her a chance to be out in the community with other children and have fun."
The baby parade is a great way for kids to interact with others their own age, and gives them a chance to let their personalities come out.
Even though not all of the kids were able to be category winners, the judges made some tough decisions.
Brian Kelley won most masculine and Brelynn Dybka won most feminine.
Jace Bolling won most mischievous and most serious was given to Kayden Pinkoski.
The friendliest was Clint Haskins Jr. and best smile was attributed to Bailey Cave.
Elaine Winton, whose great-grandson was in the parade, has been to the parade every year since it started.
"I love seeing all the different babies," Winton said. "You can come and meet new people, and I look forward to coming back every year."