‘Wanted: Willits Frontier Days Sweetheart Candidates’

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To the Editor:

Can you believe it’s almost time for the 2018 Willits Frontier Days celebration? Even though July seems far away, preparations are already underway to make sure it will be another successful event to be enjoyed by all.

One of the big first checkboxes on the 2018 to-do list is to get our Sweetheart candidates set and ready to start selling tickets and representing Willits’ famous festivities starting on May 1.

Girls aged 16 to 20 are welcome to apply, and need not reside in Willits. They do not need to own a horse, but do need to have one available to them to use for the duration of the contest. They must never have been married, and not have had children.

Contestants will be asked to sell tickets to the roster of Fourth of July events, compete in a public speaking contest with a prepared speech following the 2018 WFD theme “We Stand for Old Glory,” showcase poise and personality while modeling, as well as ride a horse in a horsemanship pattern, and answer questions about tack, horses, and the rodeo lifestyle. Contestants will also be asked to do a Queen run where they gallop around the arena waving at the crowd.

Once candidates are confirmed and applications are received – by the April 28 deadline – the girls will attend a preparatory meeting and receive their first batch of tickets on May 1 at the Willits Frontier Days office.

Just before the Sweetheart dinner where the winner is crowned, the tickets will be tallied by an official and local certified public accountant to ensure a fair contest. Ticket sales are combined with scores from the speeches and the riding portion of the contest to name an overall winner.

Girls will receive a percentage of their ticket sales at the end of the contest, and the winner will receive the coveted tiara, engraved spurs, flowers and a saddle. The contestants and the winner will be given the opportunity to ride in all of the rodeo’s Grand Entry events as well, as a place in the Main Street Parade on July 4.

Liz Day and Kathy Graves will head up the contest this year and will be the main contacts for the contestants during the contest. Liz can be reached at 707-354-0933 and Kathy at 707-489-0442 for more information.

Entry forms for Willits Frontier Days Sweetheart are available online at www.WillitsFrontierDays.com under the “Sweethearts” tab.

Remember also, the 2018 schedule of events, contact info for event chairpersons, event information, entry forms for all other community events including the Junior Rodeo – now with mutton busting! – the horse show, the Hometown Celebration, the Horseshoe Contest, and the Main Street Parade are all available online, too!

Marcy Barry, vice president,
Willits Frontier Days



  • Trillium Hummingbird

    Young Women: Don’t abandon your self-esteem! You don’t have to live in a world that just worships your appearance! Get an education, leave the provincial town you were born and raised in, don’t allow a man to structure your life around “being pretty” and breeding children! There is more to life than you will find in “South Garberville”.

    You can live the dream! Make sensible choices and escape from the plans of males! Beauty contests are fine if YOU choose them. Be independent, have your own life, be beautiful on YOUR terms!

    • Taurus Ballzhoff

      And remember, our sweetheart must be pure and virginal! No babies, never married, and no sex EVER!

      I presume this means no tattoos, and your hymen will be inspected.

      This contest is an affront to women everywhere. Who the hell is in charge of this event? What century are they living in?

      I hope a protest is organized! I will be reporting this event to N.O.W.

      Willits! Shame on you…

    • “Ticket sales are combined with scores from the speeches and the riding portion of the contest to name an overall winner.” No where does it mention the candidates’ appearance will be used as part of the criteria. In practice, ticket sales and thus business acumen/salesmanship/plus how known they are in the community is what determines who is the winner.

    • Young women, if you want to do this thing, then:

      1) Go in aware of the issues raised above. Keep your eyes wide open, and an open mind.
      2) Don’t be shamed into either doing it or not doing it — do what YOU WANT.
      3) Always remembering the issues.

      If you go in knowing yourself and knowing the issues, you’ll go in strong. And you might make a memorable speech out of it.

  • It’s whats un-said about “Sweethearts” that rings in my ears.
    It makes me wonder how Willits feels about Gay and Trans contestants. Reading the fine print is an important habit to have; it’s a skill which should be taught in the schools. I think it’s called “Critical Thinking.”
    I just don’t understand the point of this contest; is it to sell tickets to the rodeo or what? Why the age limits? Are there dress requirements? What is being sold and who is buying? Those who are questioning these so-called contests have a point.

  • Taurus Ballzhof

    The contest is highly indicative of what is wrong with Willits, right up there with allowing Howard Hospital to be run by the church of “lying devils “.

    Cowboy up Willits, subjugate those women, and fail to evolve, again…

  • Veteran's Friend

    Wow. I love the responses here. Strong women rule😊

    • Taurus Ballzhoff

      Actually, in Mendo/Humboldt/Trinity and almost everywhere else, strong women are our only hope. If life on earth is salvageable, it will be women who save it.

  • Don't Drink While Pregnant

    I’m seeing a lot of false dichotomies here.

    A young woman isn’t limited the way many comments imply. Women and girls can be

    smart AND pretty

    ladylike AND tough

    sweet AND strong

    brave AND polite

    confident AND charming

    it’s misogynistic bullshit to look at a young woman who is pretty, wearing makeup, has her hair done, etc. and assume she is weak, stupid, or doing it for male attention. What ever happened to not judging women for their appearances, clothes, and life choices?

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