Miss Congeniality: Should She Stay or Go?

Miss Congeniality is an age old tradition, however, her role in the Colleen Pageant is now being questioned.


As “green season” has officially come to an end, many people look forward to next year’s Saint Paddy’s Day festivities. However, one topic has been disputed for some time – whether to keep the role of Miss Congeniality or not.
The award of Miss Congeniality is given to the contestant who the other delegates believe is truly outgoing, friendly, and helpful, making her deserving of recognition for all that she does.  Being named Miss Congeniality is a great honor, but there are many different feelings revolving around the topic. Some view it as an age old tradition that allows the contestants in the Colleen Pageant to uphold a kind and genuine girl.

“It has a lot of integrity within the fact that it’s voted on by her peers rather than by objective judges who only speak to the girls for a short period of time,” said Sheila Fallon, 2014 Grand Colleen of Holyoke.

While some are very much in favor of keeping the role of Miss Congeniality, others do not share these feelings. Originally, Miss Congeniality was selected by the contestants and announced on the night of the Colleen Pageant, as the award was given by the contestants and not the judges. Those opposed to the continuation of the role of Miss Congeniality feel that it has now become something that it was never intended to be.

“Over the years I have seen many of [the girls selected as Miss Congeniality] in tears as they did not enjoy being a ‘tag along’. Every other community that has Colleen Pageants have stopped this practice because it has produced so much hurt in the young lady selected. It is an idea who’s time has long passed,” said Jerry Healy, the 2011 Grand Marshall.

Regardless of whether Miss Congeniality will continue to be awarded, every one in Holyoke can look back on the time served by the past girls who have fill this role with pride, fond memories, and Irish eyes always smiling.