Pageant with a twist: ‘Belle of the Ballpark’ invites only ladies over 70


Five ladies took center stage at Recreation Ballpark Wednesday for a beauty pageant in a league of its own. 

The ‘Belle of the Ballpark’ pageant is not your average competition — each contestant must be at least 70-years-old. 

Bernice Gree, the oldest competitor is 94-year-old and did not shy away from the challenge. 

“I love competition,” she said. 

The ladies took the field, facing off in contests between innings during the Visalia Rawhide’s game.

“I’m just happy to be here for this. It’s good for a lot of senior citizens to be really recognized within a community,” Barbara Gross said. 

Bernie Watson enjoyed the competition along with the scenery.

“It’s fun. I love people, and these guys wearing tight pants is awesome,” she said. 

The night kicked off with a shirt decorating challenge.

“On the back of my shirt as you see it says ‘Thou shall not steal,'” Watson said. 

This year a new competition joined the lineup — a ‘yo mama’ joke showdown.

“I wish they had told me that. What kind of jokes do I know?,” Green said. 

“Your mama’s so dumb, she thought the pitcher holds the water,” Watson said. 

In the end 80-year-old Watson was declared the 2019 Belle of the Ballpark.

“What’s my secret? I don’t have a secret. I’m just out here to have fun,” she said. 

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