Applications open January 1!
2017 TOP 10 (left to right): Summer Sanderson of Beaumont, TX (1st); Hayley Cochran of College Station, TX (3rd); Jody Moss of Baton Rouge, LA (Top 10); Cheryl Solomon of Austin, TX (Top 10); Katrina Ross of Newton, NJ (Top 10); Helen Doherty of Annapolis, MD (2nd); Shellie Vega of El Paso, TX (5th); Courtney Hailey of Galveston, TX (4th and Crowd Favorite); Mackenzie Finkley of Houston, TX (Top 10) and Ali Archer of Galveston, TX (Healthmatters Most Beautiful Back).
Always a crowd favorite, the weekend’s main event is the Bathing Beauties Contest beginning. Retro swim wear is chic and vintage is king as contestants from across the country catwalk across Galveston’s historic shoreline modeling vintage and vintage inspired swim wear and accessories that echo the “good ole days” of Galveston’s summertime history. Classic pinup styles, the likes that Esther Williams, Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page made famous, will heat up the beaches as 40 contestants vie for cash prizes and top honors.
Dubbed the “Pageant of Pulchritude” by C.E. Barfield, the Galveston beauty contest began in the summer of 1920 and from then on marked the kick-off for tourist season each year. By 1928, the event (which had morphed into the “bathing girl revue”) had become so popular, the Island’s population was said to have tripled during the event weekend. These Island pageants are said to have been the beginning of what we know today as the Miss Universe Pageant. The famed Galveston Bathing Beauties pageants ended in 1932 due in part to the Great Depression.
Based on Island events from summer seasons past like the Pageant of Pulchritude and Splash Day, the Galveston Island Beach Revue was resurrected into a contemporary two-day, family-friendly event in 2009. The Galveston Island Beach Revue continues to grow each year through events, contestant participation, and attendance and is officially the City of Galveston’s “Kickoff to Summer” event.
The Revue features events Friday and Saturday culminating in the Bathing Beauties Contest. The contest itself has become a must-see event as locals and tourists of all ages swarm the beach and seawall for a glimpse at the vintage swimsuits, parasols, and of course the “world famous” Bathing Beauties themselves.