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LONG BEACH - This May, the Peninsula will host the 61st celebration of Loyalty Days, and though the event will include all of the events that many have come to love, there are a couple changes in store when it comes to the Miss and Junior Miss Loyalty courts.

For years, the Loyalty Days coronation has been held in April. But now the Loyalty Days committee has decided to move next year's princess coronation to following fall. The fifth grade and high school girls will be recruited and chosen this month, and their coronation will take place in October 2011. Sponsorship letters will go out in early spring.

Loyalty Days Court advisors Ragan Andrew and Lacie DeWitt say the change is being implemented to give the girls more time to sell their buttons, prepare for coronation, purchase their dresses, and raise funds for travel opportunities, such as representation at out-of-town parades.

Also changing is the way the girls' community service projects will be structured. Rather than the courts focusing on one big project, the junior and senior girls will be paired off to work on individualized projects of each team's choice. Andrew and DeWitt say this new approach will allow the girls to make their own choices and use more creativity, and as a result, have ownership in the experience.

The girls will also be treated to a mentor night that will host women from the Coast Guard, local businesses, the Miss Clatsop competition, and the Pacific County Fire District No. 1 fire cadet program.

The Loyalty Day Court Committee is open to suggestions and ideas for the upcoming year, and would also appreciate more volunteers to help with costumes and take the girls to events.

To reach them, call Ragan Andrew at 642-4421 or e-mail (events@longbeachwa.gov), or call Lacie DeWitt at 777-8044 or e-mail her at (lacieb@centurytel.net).

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