ORGANISERS are ‘overwhelmed’ with the positive response to a new charity beauty pageant that will replace Weymouth Carnival Queen.

But they have changed the rules so girls under 10 can no longer enter.

Elysia Munday, who along with other former carnival queens is behind the Miss Weymouth contest searching for a ‘town ambassador’, said there had been a lot of interest from parents when feelers were put out for a junior category covering ages 7-12.

But following feedback it has been decided to amend the categories so there is now junior 10-13, teen 14-17 and senior 18+ with no upper age limit.

Elysia said: “Our rules request that junior entrants avoid makeup, heels or hairpieces, as we do not encourage young girls to dress beyond their years.

“The winner would not be required to attend events but would be very welcome to use their title to support good causes. Our main priority at all times is our contestants.

“Taking all our values into account and listening to the public, we have decided to amend the age categories and apologise to all who were hoping to enter.”

Miss Weymouth aims to breathe life into the old format of the carnival queen competition, and encourage people to enter who may have felt restricted in the past.

Winners will participate as usual in the carnival.

It was felt the role of carnival queen has developed and recent wearers of the crown have done more in the community rather just winning a beauty contest so a new contest was launched to reflect that.

It also followed the break-up of the Ladies Alive group which used to organise the carnival queen contest. Entrants will be encouraged to raise money for charity and the winner of the adult competition will have a chance to compete in a national contest.

Miss Weymouth 2014 will be supporting Weldmar Hospice-care Trust.

Elysia said: “The positive response to Miss Weymouth has been absolutely overwhelming and the interest in contestant applications just keeps rising.

“Lots of companies have contacted us providing prizes such as Nailed it!, The Perfect Portrait Co, Alley Katz.

“We are still looking for main sponsors to help fund this event and have a great range of packages available so please do not hesitate to contact us if you want to get involved.”

THE Miss Weymouth competition is free to enter.

Organisers will start taking applications on Valentine’s Day, February 14, and the launch event for all entrants will take place on Sunday, April 13 at Weymouth Pavilion.

All entry information will be provided on the Miss Weymouth Facebook page and a soon-to-be launched website.

Weymouth Carnival 2014 chairman Elysia Munday, who was queen in 2012, has got together with a team to develop Miss Weymouth. She has support from former queens including Natalie Fry (2010), Lucy Compton (2011) and current holder Gina Hartley.

Tickets for the public to attend the launch event will go on sale in the next couple of weeks.

For more information and to sponsor the event email