SIXTEEN regional finalists in the Sydney Royal Showgirl competition will face up to the judges in Barraba on Saturday.
They are contesting the Zone 4 showgirl final.
Co-ordinator Patti Crowley said 17 girls were finalists this year – a healthy number.
“It’s wonderful – we’re really thrilled that we’ve got that many girls,” Mrs Crowley said.
Two zone finalists will be chosen to compete in the state finals of the competition (now in its 52nd year), with the state-final presentation to be held at the Sydney Royal Easter Show on April 13.
The 2013 Tamworth Showgirl, Danielle Robson, said she was a bit nervous about the zone final but described being the Tamworth Showgirl as one of the best experiences of her life.
“It’s a huge, huge honour,” Ms Robson said.
She also urged anyone thinking of entering this year’s Tamworth Showgirl competition in late March to do so.
“Being Tamworth Showgirl has been absolutely great ... it’s about the knowledge about and the passion for your town ... about pressing matters in your community, to try and increase the profile,” she said.
The Zone 4 final goes all day at the Barraba Golf Club.
Judging kicks off at 9am with a 15-minute interview of each girl, then during lunch the girls socialise with the other finalists, the judges and sponsors.
The day culminates in a black-tie dinner at the Barraba War RSL War Memorial Hall, during which the contestants do on-stage interviews.
Mrs Crowley said the number of finalists did change from year to year.
“It sort of waxes and wanes a bit.”
She said Bingara, Bundarra and Warialda only held their showgirl competitions every two years, so this partly explained the fluctuating numbers, but also the age group of the competition – 18 to 25 – meant many young women left their respective towns.
“So a lot of our girls this year are uni students,” Mrs Crowley said.
Zone 4 finalists
Abbey Ferris (Barraba)
Courtney Sullivan (Moree)
Sally Newton (Walgett)
Alexandra Tooth (Quirindi)
Lucy Campbell (Dorrigo)
Megan Steele (Wee Waa)
Jessica Grills (Guyra)
Sarah Clift (Gunnedah)
Melissa O’Keeffe (Warialda)
Cecilia Oppenheimer (Walcha)
Amy Young (Bingara)
Anthea Guest (Narrabri)
Ashlee Doak (Bundarra)
Elizabeth Jarvis (Tenterfield)
Danielle Robson (Tamworth).
Jodie Saggers (Glen Innes)
Inverell Show finalist to be announced after their show starts Feb 27.