The Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen and Little Miss Spat competition is a long-standing tradition that dates to 1960. What would become the Urbanna Oyster Festival was only four years old when the first Oyster Festival Queen and Little Miss Spat were crowned on a flatbed trailer on the day of the festival.
As the Oyster Festival has evolved over the years, so has the selection of the Queen and Little Miss Spat (a spat is a baby oyster). What was once a beauty pageant is now a scholarship-based competition. The Queen contestants must be high school seniors and residents of Middlesex County. Each Queen contestant mentors a first-grade co-contestant as her Little Miss Spat.
The Queen and Little Miss Spat competition starts early in the spring, continues through the summer and extends until the crowning takes place on Friday of the festival.
The Queen contestants are judged in five areas:
- Individual community service project.
- Individual judges’ interview.
- Academic achievement.
- A spontaneously written response to a random question.
- Overall participation in the competition.
The Little Miss Spat contestants are judged separately from the Queen contestants in the following areas:
- Participation at an ice cream social and a tea party.
- Individual judges interviews.
- Overall participation.