Miss Dowagiac tickets available Saturday

Published 9:03 am Thursday, December 31, 2015

Locals are expected to once again pack the inside Caruso’s, as one of the hottest tickets of the winter season goes on sale Saturday.

Organizers with the 2016 Miss Dowagiac Scholarship Pageant will begin selling tickets for the upcoming pageant from 9 a.m. to noon inside Caruso’s Candy & Soda Shop, located at 130 S. Front St. downtown. General admission costs $15; customers will be able to purchase a maximum of 10 tickets at a time, though they may wait again in line if they wish to buy more.

After buying their tickets, purchasers will be able to choose whichever remaining auditorium seats they wish to reserve for the show.

This is the second year that pageant staff has sold tickets to the show inside the local candy shop, said Beth Staley, chair of the pageant ticket committee.

“Caruso’s employees usually serve food and drinks for customers, who chit-chit with each other while they buy their tickets,” Staley said.

Initial demand for tickets is always high, as staff usually sell more than 60 percent of all available seating inside the 800-seat middle school auditorium the first morning they are available for purchase, Staley said.

As has been tradition for years, customers often line up more than an hour early to purchase seats, the organizer added. Even after doors open, the queue often winds throughout the entire store, spilling to the outside.

“We stay until they [the customers] stop coming,” Staley said.

Following the sales on Saturday, customers will be available to purchase remaining seating at the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce office, located inside the downtown train station on Depot Drive. Tickets will also be sold at the door the night of the event.

This year’s pageant, themed “There’s Magic in the Air,” will begin at 7 p.m. Jan. 23, at the Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center. Ten contestants will be vying for the crown and title of the 77th Miss Dowagiac that evening.

In keeping with the magic theme, Magician John Dudley will be among the entertainment lined up that evening.

Six scholarships, totaling more than $8,500, will also be awarded to top placers during the 2016 event. Since its inception in 2000, the Miss Dowagiac Scholarship Fund has distributed more than $51,000 worth of college scholarships to 67 contestants.