ST. LOUIS, Mo. - In 1997, Joe Bradley and the late Howard Meyer began to promote the Missouri preliminaries to Continental Pageantry, making their home in St. Louis. The contests brought talented performers from across the country and quickly became a popular event in the drag community. In 2011, the preliminaries came to a halt, and for five years, Missouri Continental was no more. Now the stage is set for the pageant's comeback with Mr. & Miss Missouri Continental to be held at Attitudes Nightclub this Memorial Day weekend.

Dev Silvey is the current promoter and the architect of the pageant’s return.

“After one of our local Continental competitors [Tiffany T. Hunter] brought the [national] title home, we decided it was time to bring Missouri Continental back into existence,” says Silvey. “Now the time has come, and we will continue to uphold the legacy set by the previous owners.”

Tiffany T. Hunter is a St. Louis native who won the crown at the 2015 Miss Continental Pageant at The Vic Theatre in Chicago, Ill. Hunter’s crowning was the first national win for a St. Louis entertainer in one of the "Big Four" systems in five years, and became inspiration for Missouri Continental's return.

Continental Pageantry takes its form from similar, cisgender pageants. The categories consist of an interview, swimwear, talent, formal wear, an on-stage question and answer with the contestants. In 1980, Jim Flint of The Baton Show Lounge fame founded the system as a spinoff of Miss Gay America to fill a void in drag pageantry.

“Over time the Continental Pageantry System became renowned for its pre-/non-operative transsexual contestants," recalls Silvey. "Today, Miss Continental has preliminaries representing various U.S. states as well as Canada and Europe."

The pageant has since expanded into four separate divisions, allowing a broader range of contestants. The Mr. and Miss divisions are held simultaneously. Additionally, there are the Plus and Elite divisions.

Mr. allows contestants to present themselves as males. The Plus division is open to, what Mr. Flint referred to as, “larger” contestants. The Elite division allows contestants over 40 to compete for the title.

“If all goes as planned, the state of Missouri will have all four divisions available to contestants from around the world,” Silvey explains.

Pageant fans can also expect “special entertainment.”

“Special Entertainment will consist of local St. Louis entertainers and a few out-of-town guests; all of which are former Missouri Continental winners," says Silvey. "There will be a 50/50 raffle. We also have plans for a popular out-of-state guest to be available for jewelry sales."

The winners of the Missouri preliminaries will go on to compete at the national contest in Chicago on Labor Day weekend. Mr. & Miss Missouri Continental will take place at Attitudes Nightclub on Sunday, May 29, 2016. The doors will open at 8 p.m. with the show starting at 9 p.m.

Don’t miss the return of this highly developed pageant to St. Louis. With any luck, we can keep the national crown in Missouri.

#Boom Media is proud to be a media sponsor of Mr. & Miss Missouri Continental 2016. Use our special promo code BOOM to save 15% on your online ticket purchase by clicking here. Tickets are also available at the door.



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