Phyllis George to Headline Anniversary Celebration

by Joy Donovan on May 28, 2010

Phyllis George, a Denton native and Miss America 1971, will return to Texas to co-chair the 75th anniversary of the Miss Texas organization.

Former Miss Americas Phyllis George and Shirley Cothran Barret will be special guests of honor at the Miss Texas Scholarship Pageant’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, planned for July 1 and July 2 in Arlington, TX.

 George, Miss America 1971, and Barret, Miss America 1975, will serve as honorary chairs of the anniversary festivities.

A series of special events will pull former Miss Texas winners, state contestants and pageant volunteers to North Texas in late June and early July. The events, some which will be open to the public, will include three days of preliminary competitions and the July 2 crowning of Miss Texas 2010.

 Among the activities planned to commemorate the 75th anniversary will be the Crowns and Gowns formal gala, featuring an archive exhibit of wardrobe pieces worn by former Miss Texas titleholders, and the Miss Texas Tribute Brunch, featuring George and Cothran as guest speakers.

George, a native of Denton, capitalized on her Miss America title by becoming one of the female pioneers in sports broadcasting. In 1975, she joined The NFL Today, co-hosting pre-game TV shows before NFL games. Other TV work followed, including a post as co-anchor of The CBS Morning News. Later she turned to commercial ventures founding both a poultry business and a cosmetic business. In addition, she served as Kentucky’s first lady while married to former Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown.

Barret, also a Denton native, has spent more than 30 years speaking to civic groups, national corporations, educational organizations and churches. She earned a doctorate degree in early childhood education and family counseling and couples her educational background with humor for her motivational talks. She has contributed to numerous magazines and has appeared on national TV programs.

A DVD and memorabilia book with pageant history is being compiled by pageant historian Randy Pruett. The book may be ordered online at

Marvin Blum, Fort Worth resident and longtime pageant supporter, is serving as chairman of the 75th anniversary celebration, and Carrizo Oil & Gas is on board as the event’s major sponsor.

Following is a list of event highlights from the 75th Miss Texas Celebration:

June 28, 29, 30           Preliminary Competition Nights

            7 p.m. Competition, University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Hall, 701 W. Niederman, Arlington.

                Tickets at

July 1                          Miss Texas Family Reunion

            2 to 4 p.m. Hilton Arlington, Grand Ballroom. Event open to all former contestants, families,

               guests and volunteers.       

                Tickets $10, sold at the door.

July 1                          Crowns and Gowns Formal Gala

            6:30 to 11 p.m. Arlington Convention Center, Grand Hall, 1200 Ballpark Way.

                Archive exhibit of wardrobe, seated dinner and dancing to Larry T-Byrd Gordon & Music People

                Luv Band. Black-tie event open to the public.

               Tickets $75, order from or by calling Vicki Slaton at 972-203-1847.

July 2                          Miss Texas Tribute Brunch and Autograph Session

            8 to 11 a.m. Arlington Convention Center, Grand Hall, 1200 Ballpark Way.

                Featured speakers: former Miss Americas Phyllis George and Shirley Cothran Barret. Open to

                the public. Tickets $60, order from or by calling Jean Magness 817-292-5269.

July 2                          Crowning of Miss Texas 2010

            6 p.m. Pre show featuring performance by former Miss Texas titleholders, UTA, Texas Hall.

                7 p.m. Final night of competition, selection of Miss Texas 2010.

                Tickets available at

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