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2014 Miss Yard Birds Pageant and Adult Prom

Pageant contestants are encouraged to show their "most unique" sides

Who will win the Yard Birds crown this year?

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Here's a reason to shake your tail feathers. The 2014 Miss Yard Birds Pageant and Adult Prom go down Saturday, April 5, at the Yard Birds Mall in Chehalis.

Pageant contestants are encouraged to show their "most unique" sides at the event. They will, after all, be representing the 60-foot-tall Yard Bird, a popular roadside attraction for more than 40 years and mascot for the Yard Birds regional surplus/retail store whose historical tagline is "most unique."

The evening gown category kicks off the night with the women dressed in everything from formal wear to DIY costumes with black and yellow feathers - an homage to the bird they hope to represent in Lewis County and Yard Birds events and parades throughout the year.

"Each year, people get a little more excited about Yard Birds," said Jason Mattson, event curator and Yard Birds historian. "There's fondness and memories associated with it. Keeping that alive and keeping the fun of the place is important - it's a ‘most unique' aspect of this community, but a good one and I'd like to keep that going."

Other features of the pageant include a question about what Yard Birds means to each contestant and a talent portion, which brings out interesting character in the girls, from singing and dancing to workout routines.

"One girl did a CPR demonstration that was pretty entertaining," Mattson laughed, "and we've had burlesque routines in the past, but this one will be more PG-13."

The pageant is in its fourth year and was previously held at The Shire, a local bar and venue, until it outgrew it last year, bringing in hundreds of people. This year, the event is located at the Yard Birds Mall and includes a new twist -- an Adult Prom.

The prom will feature a photo booth and prom photos by Love and Laughter photography, a twist contest, cutest couple contest and talented host Vincent Drambuie (expect some surprises!). Deejay 7Eight, who has been a constant supporter of Yard Birds, will pull out the jams - from Sinatra to Snoop Dogg - for an after-crowning dance party.

"I love Yard Birds because it's just weird and campy," said 7Eight. "The only one in the world ... maybe it's a piece of everyone's childhood. Before Internet, cell phones, Facebook, you just went there and you always knew people, if even just their faces."

Yard Birds has won "Best Roadside Attraction" multiple times in Evening Magazine's Best of Western Washington contests, has its own documentary, Skinny and Fatty, the Story of Yard Birds and has been featured in books and on the news.

The event will be a 50/50 benefit for the Yard Birds maintenance fund as well as the Cat's Meow, a local spay, neuter and adoption project.

2014 Miss Yard Birds Pageant and Adult Prom, 8 p.m., Saturday, April 5, 21 and older, Yard Bird's Mall, 2100 N. National Ave., Chehalis, $10

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