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The History of The Miss Azusa Scholarship Program

“A Parade is not a Parade without a Queen.”  That is how Miss Azusa got her start.  A Queen and her eight princesses made up the court that reigned over the first Azusa Golden Days parade in the fall of 1949.  It was a citywide celebration of California’s Gold Rush Centennial, spearheaded by the committee’s General Chairman, Mr. Leo C. Nasser.

Nine of Azusa’s most beautiful girls had contested for the honor to serve as Queen, with organizations sponsoring their respective candidacies.  The contest was handled by the Azusa Retail Business Association who also provided a magnificent float for the Queen and her court to parade along Foothill Boulevard.   At that time voting for queen was done by residents who cast their ballots by purchases done at downtown business.

A few days prior to the parade, Nancy Murphy was crowned Queen and appeared as Cover Girl on the “Magazine of the Air” television broadcast accompanied by three of her Princesses Betty Shomber, Joann Meeder and Jean Shores who later went on to become Miss California and a runner up to Miss America. 

On October 29th, over 25,000 spectators from all over the San Gabriel Valley arrived and witnessed what had been called the “Greatest Pioneer Celebration.”  A parade was led by Grand Marshall Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz and included other notables such as Stuart Hamblen, and Montie Montana.  There were also six marching bands, beautifully decorated floats depicting the nation’s historic events, over 1000 horses and horsemen and a special demonstration of a low flying jet airplane owned by Aerojet Engineering Company that flew along the parade route.After the parade local veterans formally dedicated Memorial Park, followed by a large “Free Barbecue” which fed over 3000 people.  After nightfall, a ball was held at the Azusa Woman’s club at which Queen Nancy Murphy and her court of eight princesses reigned.

The History of The Miss Azusa Outstanding Teen Program

The Miss Azusa Outstanding Teen Competition is held in conjunction with the Miss California Outstanding Teen Competition, and is the state final for the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition.  The Miss Azusa Outstanding Teen Program is history in the making.  Participation in this will open up opportunities for Azusa’s local teenage girls ages 13 to 17 years old.  This will give them experience in introducing themselves to posies, leadership, while highlighting their talents, qualities and attributes, giving our local young ladies opportunities to open doors of leadership and education.