The 45th anniversary of the Female Impersonator Miss Florida Pageant will be taking place on Monday, October 16 at the beautiful Bahia Mar on Fort Lauderdale beach. The pageant is nicknamed “The Social Event of the Season”   attracting some of the top named female impersonators, and Movie, TV and Fashion stars from across the USofA and beyond (Photo: JR Davis).

In the past Miss Florida had celebrity judges including KC and Sunshine Band, Boy George, and Sylvester. This year we have Trinity Taylor from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9.

Although many pageant systems have started since, they have followed the lead of Miss Florida F.I. Although Miss Florida F.I. is a state title, the system has always been recognized as a national pageant.

Former winners have gone onto great careers in TV,  movies, and coveted lead roles in shows and cabarets including Las Vegas and P-Town, and have traveled not only across the state of Florida but around the world.

The current owners plan to uphold the vision of original owners Keith Landon and Rene Rodriguez include, they are:

Alyson Thomas, a seasoned professional in the art form of female impersonation herself for 40 years, brings professionalism, style, stability, and experience to the pageant.  She is also known throughout the country as a leading promoter and supporter to many who have gone on to become national title holders and a coach to newcomers.  Well respected by everyone in the art form, a hands on owner with an eye for detail, coupled with personality, hospitality and vision.

Scott Holland, whose knowledge and experience in the Florida market includes: media and editorial experience, judge to many pageantry systems, a pageant coordinator, public relations, professionalism, and a love for entertainment that cannot be touched.

Victor Zepka and Gary Santis who have owned the pageant for the last 25 years have stayed  on as owners to keep the history of the system alive.  They bring 25 years of hands on working knowledge of the system, and the experience that’s makes Miss Florida F.I. rich in history, and memories. Victor brings long standing established relationships with sponsors, vendors and local business and community leaders to the pageant.  Gary continues to create amazing sets, outrageous productions, state of the art sound and lighting, encompassing a show and a night of entertainment not to be missed.

When asked about any new things happening in the Miss Florida System, Alyson Thomas, President, said “We have many exciting plans in the years to come that I think the community is going to love. So far, since resurrecting the Miss Florida system 4 years ago, we have also brought back the Miss Florida F.I, at Large pageant 2 years ago that we produce at the Parliament House, and this year we are excited to be producing for the very first time, the Mr Florida Male Entertainer pageant that will be held that day before Miss Florida, on Sunday October 15 also at the Bahia Mar Hotel.”

I asked Miss Florida F.I. 2016, the beautiful Shantell D’Marco, why it was so important for her to become Miss Florida F.I and she said: “Entering Miss Florida FI was a life goal of mine. I grew up in Miami and Miss Florida was the event of the year. Gowns, fashion, trendsetters, just to name a few. One day I knew I would be a Miss Florida. But Life happened, and I moved away from Florida. IYears later I moved back to Florida but this time to Central Florida, Orlando. Everything just blossomed for me from there, career, marriage, and most important growth. Miss Florida F.I. came back to mind and I knew I only wanted to do it one time. I checked all my boxes and I knew I was ready. It was important for me to return and finally do Miss Florida, not only because it was a life goal, but ultimately just to show the world what I was now made of and that the glow outside now finally matched inside.”

The Mr. and Miss Florida F.I. pageant will be held Sunday and Monday, October 15 & 16 at the beautiful Bahia Mar on Fort Lauderdale beach starting at 8 p.m. To reserve your hotel room go to call the Bahia Mar at 954-764-2233 and ask for Cherlie and tell her you want the Miss Florida discount. To purchase tickets go to MissFloridaFIPageant.com or call Scott at 954-478-4587.