The 2020 Curwood Festival had to cancel in April last year due to pandemic concerns, but organizers have been busy in recent months, laying down plans for the festival this year. Organizers are aware of current protocols and recognize that another shut down is always possible, but are hopeful for a safe, healthy and fun comeback in 2021. Interested persons should watch for updates on the website at, through social media or in the Independent.

   The 2021 Curwood Festival Pageant is planned, with virtual candidate interviews to be held on Sunday, April 11. Applications are available on the website at or through the link provided on the Curwood Festival Facebook page. Applications can also be picked up at the Curwood Festival office at 212 S. Washington St., downtown Owosso. All applications must be submitted prior to Wednesday, March 31 – no exceptions.

   The upcoming pageant will be done via Zoom – making it a first for the Curwood Festival. According to queen contest coordinator Kendra Nichols, an experienced selection of pageant judges will comprise the panel. Candidates will each have a designated time to connect on Zoom and offer a presentation to the judges. Both the 2021 Miss Curwood Festival and Curwood Princess competitions will be conducted virtually due to pandemic protocols. Each candidate will receive a “virtual contest handbook” upon registration. Kayla Morell is the Curwood Princess coordinator.

   According to the website, Miss Curwood Festival is open to any young, never married, woman. All participants must reside in Shiawassee County and be between 17 and 23 by January 1, 2021. Princess candidates must be between eight and 10 by the same date (new ages this year). The winners will represent both the festival and the community with their main duties focused on serving during the 44th Annual Curwood Festival from Thursday, June 3 through Sunday, June 6.

    Miss Curwood Festival and the Curwood Princess will be judged on communication skills, personality, intelligence, poise and enthusiasm for the festival and the community. Miss Curwood Festival and court members receive scholarships to the college of their choice at the end of their reign, along with gift bags from local sponsors. The crowning ceremony is planned for Monday, April 26 with further details to be updated as the date nears.

   For further information on the pageant, please call Kendra Nichols at (989) 723-3698.

   Other Curwood Festival events in the works include the Heritage Parade for Saturday, June 5. The 2021 parade theme is “Welcome Back to Curwood Country.” The Kids in Curwood Country Parade will be held Friday, June 4. Parade applications for both events are available on the website. Parade details will be updated later on.

   In connection to the Heritage Parade, the Curwood Festival Board is now accepting nominations for the grand marshal. Organizer and coordinator Karen Harris is requesting the community join in “and in the spirit of celebrating our town, we are looking for your nominations of whom you believe did an outstanding job during the pandemic.” The Curwood Festival wants to celebrate and honor “our essential workers” – and that can include store clerks, nurses, teachers, police officers or any individuals who have made large contributions during the pandemic. The public is encouraged to submit a letter to the board, explaining why you believe someone might deserve the recognition as an essential worker. Letters should be one page or less and must be received no later than Monday, May 10. Please send to Grand Marshall Nomination at 212 S. Washington Street, Owosso, MI 48867 or email to Include name and contact information of nominees and also your contact information.

   The Curwood Saga Writing Contest, coordinated by Denice Grace, is available to all public, parochial and homeschooled students in 4th- through 12th-grades. Deadline for entry is Sunday, May 1. There are three divisions with a first and second prize awarded in each category. Stories need to be submitted to the Curwood Festival office or to either the Owosso or Durand branches of the Shiawassee District Library. For more information, email

   The Curwood Festival Button and Postcard Contest is yet another happening Curwood activity. Any Shiawassee County resident (Chesaning and Ovid-Elsie included) can submit artwork through the application on the website. The deadline to enter is Saturday, April 10. Entry details are available on the application. For more information, call Brandy Kenny at (989) 661-2882 or Sara Tithof at (989) 277-3590. The theme is “Putting the Country Back in Curwood Country.”

   Several other Curwood Festival events are currently being planned and will be made public as details are narrowed down.

2021 Curwood Festival Pageant and More Planned was last modified: March 30th, 2021 by Karen Elford