St. Patrick’s Day is being celebrated early with the annual  Ellis County Our Little Miss Pageant on March 15.

Anyone is welcome to participate. All ages at the Waxahachie preliminary can sign up. The ad says it is the perfect pageant for a beginner.

Heather Caponi, the North Texas Our Little Miss director, will be directing the pageant for the second year.

“This pageant on Sunday is basically the first step in our pageant system. It’s on the local level and then the girls will compete and girls who place in our top four division, they’ll move on to our state competition,” Caponi said.

This is a natural pageant system, in which age-appropriate make-up is allowed. However, nothing glitzy or over the top is allowed! “We want the contestants to shine...NOT the makeup or clothes!” states the reminder on the sign up sheet.

The age division’s are: 0 to 2 years, 3 to 6 years, 7 to 9 years, 10 to 12 years, 13 to 15 years, 16 to 19 years, 20 to 28 years and 29-plus years.

They will send out a welcome email once the application has been submitted and the $55 registration fee has been paid.

Caponi and her daughter have both competed in the system, for about four years.

“The most exciting thing is basically meeting girls all over the state and then if you place at the state level, all contestants are invited to move on to the world competition, every year the world competition is in a different city,” Caponi said. “It’s just an opportunity to meet people all over the city, all over the country.”

There is no residency restriction, so anyone outside of Ellis County is welcome to compete.

The only requirement for the competition is a party dress. However, there will be optional competitions the contestants may join. These competitions are:

In each division, there will be awards for prettiest eyes, prettiest hair and prettiest smile.

There will be an outfit of choice competition, where all girls can model any outfit that fits in the theme of St. Patrick's Day. The winner will receive $20.

Most photogenic will also be awarded in each age division. Contestants should bring photos to registration and label them with their name and age. The winner will receive $10 and $5 for any additional photo.

They will award overall best personality and overall best dressed, with the winner receiving $10. A talent competition will also be held for fun and the winner will receive $10.

Additionally, popular Miss tickets are available for each contestant to sell before the pageant and will be on sale throughout the pageant. Each ticket sold will count as one "vote" for that contestant. The contestant with the most votes will win the title of Popular Miss. Tickets will be $2 each at the event.

The pageant will take place on 407 W. Jefferson St, Waxahachie, TX, at the Ellis County Women's Building. Sign up is now closed but for more information on the event, message Caponi at gtstanggurl@yahoo.com .