DUNKIRK - It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. Thursday afternoon, Mary Ellen Dayton, Martha Woolley and Sylvia Pisa judged the babies in the Baby Parade at the Chautauqua County Fair. Categories were most masculine, most feminine, most mischievous, most serious, friendliest baby, best smile and twins.
Accompanied by parents, grandparents, and other relatives the babies entered the Arthur Maytum Family Theater. Some walked and some were carried. Other babies were pushed in strollers or pulled in wagons.
Each child was assigned a number. The babies and adults lined up and passed in front of the judges' table three times.
Alycia Lacki, still smiling, holds her 4-month-old son Caden. After the parade Caden was content to sleep in his mother’s arms.
Photo by Diane R. Chodan
The mistress of ceremonies said, "Make sure the judges can see your number."
Sometimes, the child held the number; sometimes the child chewed on the number. Sometimes the parent or an extra adult held the number.
Trevor Lincoln of Jamestown seemed like a different baby each time he went past. The first time he cried but the second time he broke out into a big smile.
After the three passes, the judges adjourned to make their decisions. A number of children played on the floor in the theater area. They seemed to like the noise the floor made as they ran or walked across.
Blue-eyed Mariska Promber, 16 months old and dressed in a purple dress and white shoes, seemed to want to explore everywhere.
Her dad Marcus smiled and acknowledged, "Yes, she is a bundle of energy."
On the other hand, 4-month-old Caden Lacki and 20-month old Josiah Rodriquez were tired enough to ignore the noise and go to sleep after the parade. Josiah slept in his carriage, while Caden slept in his mother's arms.
Mom Alycia Lacki smiled during the parade and continued to smile afterward.
"That's what moms do," she said.
After much consultation the judges' decisions were announced. Awards were: Most Masculine, Trevor Lincoln from Jamestown; Most Feminine, Bridget Brown from Jamestown; Most Mischievous, Jackson Woolcott from Ashville; Most Serious, Thomas Haskell from Jamestown; Friendliest Baby, Dominic Shunk from Silver Creek; Best Smile, Serenity Stoll from Fredonia, and Twins, Chad and Connor Shunk.
All the babies were special, and all contestants received a goodie bag for participating.