Pinups come to Iola
Patti Pierogi wins first place
By Holly Neumann
New to the Iola Car Show this year was the addition of the Pinup contest where 25 contestants compete for the title of Miss Iola Blue Ribbon 2017.
“This is a great addition to the car show,” said Ginny Rosewater, from Midwest Rock a Beauties, who helped organize the event. “Girls are coming here dressed up and people are excited to see them. It adds some sass to the show.”
According to Rosewater, this is not a beauty pageant.
“Contestants are judged on poise, personality, confidence, style and the way they embrace the era that they are trying to portray,” she said.
“It’s about empowerment,” added Miss Honey Behave. “It’s about making friends and building a community.”
Contestants walked across the stage, wearing vintage clothing from an era that has inspired them, as each of their names were announced.
Spectators loved the show.
“It brought me back to my teenage years,” said Mary Voight. “Seeing some of the style, the fashion and the hair. It was great.”
“I have to admit, I thought it was going to be a show with young women in bikinis,” added Bob Stalt. “Going back in time and having fun with it was so much better.”
Taking home the very first title of Miss Iola Blue Ribbon 2017 was Patti Pierogi, of Milwaukee.
“This is so exciting,” said Pierogi. “I, Patti Pierogi, get to be the face of the Iola Car Show.”
Pierogi, who has been competing in pinup contests for two years and now holds 12 titles, chalks her wins up to beginners luck.
“I was sitting in a salon getting my hair done when I saw a flyer for a pinup contest,” she said. “I said, wouldn’t it be the funniest thing if I entered this contest under the name Patty Pierogi? Everyone in the salon laughed. But I tried it and I won. I have been doing it ever since. I am hooked.”
When the opportunity arose to compete in Iola, she jumped at the chance.
“For a first time contest, the experience was amazing,” she said. “I always say, go big or go home and Iola was definitely able to do that.”
Excited to have won her very first tiara, Pierogi believes that pinup so much more than a traditional beauty contest.
“This is about people of all different shapes, sizes, color and ages,” she said. “There are no beauty standards in pinup. That is the beauty of it.”
And she loves what she does.
“I like to keep the spirit of rockabilly alive,” she said. “I encourage everyone to jump in and give it a try.”
For Rosewater, she hopes that this will be a welcomed addition to the Iola Car Show for years to come.
“I look forward to what 2018 brings,” she said. “We have already had a couple of people inquire about how to get involved.”
The spectators agree.
“I have always enjoyed coming to the Iola Car Show,” Jules Marcum said. “What better place could there be to have a pinup contest. They had the classic cars, then added the great music and now the pretty girls. It’s a perfect fit.”